If you’re visiting Berkeley County in the wintertime, and it seems you’ve awakened to what looks like the North Pole out your window, chances are Martinsburg has begun its annual transition into “Christmas Town.” Every year, Martinsburg vendors and residents dedicate every effort into celebrating the holiday season in the most extravagant of ways. A Christmas tree lighting, a parade in the streets, a beloved craft market and even an apple drop bring visitors from near and far to come and take part in the merrymaking.
Christmas Tree Lighting
On November 27, just when the air is chilly enough for hats and scarves, a tall and proud evergreen will stand in the middle of town. Visitors and locals gather every year to watch as the switch flips and the bulbs and tinsels light. Surrounding buildings and shops also partake in the decorations, adorning windows and doors with festive scenes and emblems, as if together they commemorate the start of the holiday season. This year, Martinsburg is excited to include more streetlight decorations, such as their luminous snowflakes, to make this year’s celebrations extra special. Nearby, you can find socially distanced, safe-singing carolers, and Santa will be handing out presents beside the tree.
Mainstreet Christmas Parade
On Dec. 1, Martinsburg will be hosting its 22nd annual Mainstreet Christmas Parade, where spectators can watch as intricately decorated and constructed floats drive through the town along with antique cars, firetrucks and more. Last year’s parade had over 100 participants, so this year’s is bound to be the most exciting and impressive collection of floats yet. Onlookers are encouraged to attend, but to maintain a safe distance from neighbors. Grab a chair — and some hot chocolate! And watch the magic ride by.
The holiday craft market will be held on December 5 this year, located at the town square. Shoppers can browse through an array of handmade items, crafts, sweets, and one-of-a-kind gifts. The market is held on Small Business Saturday to support Martinsburg’s local operations and vendors, as well as provide an ounce of community cheer. Past vendors have included Morning Coffee Designs, owned by Amy Keppley, who creates graphic t-shirts, bags and other apparel with cut and funny designs and messages. Other past vendors include Angel Trail Soaps that makes natural, handmade, artisan soaps and Rosemont Jewelry Boutique.
New Year’s Eve Apple Drop
Some towns may have their version of a New Year’s Eve crystal ball drop, but here in Martinsburg, folks gather to watch a roughly 10-foot-by-10-foot apple drop before midnight. Martinsburg and Berkeley County are known for its collection of picturesque and bountiful apple orchards, including Orr’s Farm Market and Butler Farm Market. Apples have become a staple food and emblem of the area, and so in place of a flashy disco ball falling on the last day of the year, the town decided to pay tribute to the produce they all admire.
The Apple Drop takes place in the early evening with family-friendly festivities beginning at 4:30 p.m. Games and apple-themed treats can be found all along the main street until the drop at 6 p.m. The reason for the early celebration is so that people can enjoy the Martinsburg version of New Year’s Eve, as well as any other celebrations later on in the evening.
If ever you wondered what destination is best for families during Christmas time, Martinsburg should be your first choice. With so many activities, spectacles, and opportunities to take photos and make memories, the town lets folks leave stress behind for a little while and enjoy the kindness and cheer that come with the celebrations. What better place to host the holiday season than a warm and welcoming town like Martinsburg?