The event, sponsored by the Hampton Business and Merchants Association, begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes a parade, live performances and photo opportunities with Santa.
Mayor Chris Moore said Christmas at Home is the city’s most popular event and has grown in popularity in the past few years.
“Thanks to other events like Hampton Idol and the lighting of the tree, attendance for the parade has gotten really big. Last year we had about 7,000 people and we’re expecting just as many, if not more, this year,” he said.
Moore said school marching bands, youth choirs and Boy and Girl Scout troops draw crowds.
“Having kids participate helps bring out their families who really enjoy the activities and come back each year. Plus, we now have a higher level of entertainment that we didn’t have before,” he said.
The winner of this year’s Hampton Idol will perform along with church and school choirs.
The parade, which will last about 40 minutes, steps off at Hampton Elementary School and travels down Oak and East Main streets, ending at the train depot.
Participants include Henry County’s fire and police departments, a cyclist motorcade, Luella High School’s ROTC and marching band members, racing lawn mowers and floats designed by businesses, schools and area residents.
New to the festivities this year will be a children’s play area with inflatables and a central hub for the performances and announcements in front of Mooreart Studios.
After the parade, attendees can enjoy cookies and hot cocoa.
“We’ll have a Christmas village set up at the train depot where families can come and take pictures with Santa and the Grinch will be on James Street for photos, too,” said Moore.
Pictures with both characters are free if visitors bring their own cameras, but professional photographers will be there for holiday portraits as well.
Those attending will have the best view of the parade on Oak and Main streets, which will be closed off for traffic at 6:30 and reopen after the event.
If you go:
What: Christmas at Home event
Where: East Main Street, Hampton
When: Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m.