There’s a lot going on at the Convention Center in December. Just check out this list

Virginia Beach Convention Center (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
Virginia Beach Convention Center (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Between private and public events and gatherings, scores of local and out-of-town guests will grace the halls of the city’s Convention Center.

Here’s a peek at a bit of what’s going on this December:

  • Dec. 1 & 2Home for the Holidays – Two Great Nights, One Great Cause – Have some fun while offering those in need a hand this holiday season. Join others feeling the spirit of the season for a lively and festive USO-style show featuring the Guava Jam Band and friends. This will be a family-friendly event with free family photos with Santa, plus all kids in attendance will receive a gift from Santa. Parking is free with all show proceeds going to the USO to assist military families in need during the holidays.
  • Dec. 7 – 9:  The 18th Virginia Challenge National Holiday Duals – Wrestlers from across the country will compete during this annual tournament which hosts teams from more than 125 elementary and middle schools rivaling in 10 matches each on 40 mats. Elite Age Group wrestlers from over 30 states will also face off during this high-energy competition. This is a ticketed event.
  • Dec. 14 & 15: The Great Outdoor Provision Co. 2018 Surf-n-Santa Expo, 5 Miler & Rudolph’s 1K – J&A Racing brings you the Great Outdoor Provision Co. Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler presented by Bon Secours In Motion. This fun run is held at twilight along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk so runners can enjoy the BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights Merry Mile and a festive evening filled with holiday spirit. All participants will receive awesome swag including a 5-piece Santa Suit or race shirt, a unique medal, a finisher’s item and more. Pre-registration is required.

On Dec. 14, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., registered participants can pick up their race packets at the Expo inside the halls of the Convention Center, which will feature sports retailers, sports performance company reps, charities and race sponsors. Registered children (12 and younger) can join in the fun of Rudolph’s 1K, a closed course run at the Convention Center that begins at 6:15 p.m. and includes a light-up Rudolph nose, a race shirt, a finisher’s medal and finish line snacks.

On Dec. 15, all Santas will take flight during a 4:30 p.m. start on 19th St. Participants are invited to the post-race party inside the Convention Center featuring live music, brews from Samuel Adams and other goodies.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.