A dazzling display of lights, charming bed and breakfasts, a seasonal tour of Victorian-era homes and plenty of shopping and special events make Mercer County a lovely place to spend the holidays.  

Friday 

Nothing says Friday night like Chicken Waffle Nachos from The Railyard. Order a plate to share before your main course or paired with one of the restaurant’s craft cocktails. 

Afterward, head to Lotito City Park for the annual Holiday of Lights, which runs from 6–10 p.m. on weekends from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. Featuring more than 900,000 lights scattered across the park in various joyful scenes, the Holiday of Lights is the only Christmas light show in Mercer and surrounding counties in West Virginia. Special weekend events include scenic evening walks through the park, music, a live nativity scene, 5K race, trolley ride with a stop to visit Santa, hayrides and more. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. 

Settle in at one of the local B & Bs — there’s Baker’s Hill Inn or Bluefield Inn nearby or the Guesthouse of Bramwell and Hewitt House B & B just 15 minutes away in historic Bramwell. 

Saturday 

If you’ve opted to stay at a B&B, then breakfast is provided, but if you’d prefer to venture out, Appalachian Coffee House in Princeton is a good choice for beverages and baked goods. 

Need to do some Christmas shopping? The Mercer Street Grassroots District has several shops and galleries to browse. While in the District, be sure to stop by Coal Country Kandies & Cafe for Lisa Dawn’s West Virginia Coal Candy. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer, and if you’re feeling hungry, the shop also serves burgers, subs, sandwiches and country-style dinners. 

Mercer County has a number of antique stores, too. Go on a treasure hunt and see what collectibles you uncover. 

The Bramwell Christmas Tour of Homes will be held on December 14, 5–8 p.m. Tour the private mansions, stroll the brick streets and experience a Victorian Christmas in this historic coal town. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased the day-of. Complimentary self-guided tours are also allowed year-round. 

Dinner options in Bramwell include The Corner Shop, a delightful old-fashioned soda fountain. 

Special Events

Keep up-to-date on these and other holiday events by using our Events Calendar

  • Princeton Christmas Parade 
  • Bluefield Christmas Parade 
  • Bramwell Christmas parade 
  • First Fridays in Downtown Princeton (Dec. 6)
  • Concord University Department of Music Annual Holiday Concert & Sing-along
  • Chuck Mathena Center
    • Hymns for Hope (Nov. 17) 
    • Mercer County Handbell Festival (Nov. 21)
    • A Christmas Carol (Dec. 1)
    • Feast of Sweets (Dec. 6 & 7)
    • Breakfast with Santa (Dec. 7)