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Magic on the Mall kicks off Saturday

Friends of Downtown Charlottesville is hosting Magic on the Mall, a series of free events for six weeks during the holiday season to celebrate winter.

“Friends of [Downtown] Charlottesville exists to make downtown a better than ever, more inviting, vibrant and joyful place … We’re very excited to bring you Magic on the Mall,” said Greer Achenbach, the executive director of Friends of Downtown Charlottesville during a Tuesday press conference.

People dressed up as Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and an elf accompanied the conference before hopping on the Holly Trolley—just one of Magic on the Mall’s offerings. A family joined them after their two young kids danced with Rudolph and told Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

City Council member Brian Pinkston was in attendance so he could be trained as one of the trolley conductors.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Pinkston said. Pinkston will be driving the trolley on Dec. 3.

For Pinkston, Magic on the Mall offers an opportunity for Charlottesville residents to come together after a difficult year.

“A lot of hard things have happened around here, and this is a time for us to turn the page and remember the things that bind us together,” Pinkston said.

Aside from the Holly Trolley, members of the Charlottesville community can also participate in an elf scavenger hunt, sip peppermint-flavored drinks on the Peppermint Trail, pose for a selfie with Santa and enjoy live musical performances.

The events kick off this Saturday and run through Jan. 8.


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