Harlan is celebrating the Christmas season this weekend with many events scheduled throughout the county.
What better way is there to get into the Christmas spirit than giving?
The Mountain Santa, also known as Mike Howard, started handing out toys to children 40 years ago and is still going strong. Howard will hold a road block from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Wallins stop light to collect money for toys for Santa’s Workshop.
Anybody wishing to donate their time or toys to help out can contact the Mountain Santa at 606-664-2458, or just drop off or mail donations to Mike Howard, 268 Santa Lane, Wallins Creek, KY 40873.
Hilltop Ministry, a nonprofit ministry that provides food and clothing to those in need, will have a road block on Saturday on the bridge to Walmart. All proceeds will go to underprivileged families.
For more information, you may contact Hilltop Ministry at 606-573-5060.
The Tri-Cities kicked off the weekend of festivities with their annual Christmas parade on Friday. This year’s theme was “Candy Canes and Christmas Carols” and the grand marshal was Doug Yaden, Cumberland Fire Department chief.
The second annual Christmas at the Center will be held on Saturday at the Harlan Center with all day family fun. Free hot cocoa and cider will also be available all day.
Local vendors will be on hand along with inflatables, fun for kids and crafts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and have your picture taken with Santa Claus from noon to 3 p.m. Irish clogging lessons will be held from 1-3 p.m. and the Rosspoint dancers will be participating from 3-3-45 p.m.
The Robin Bingham Dance Academy, in conjunction with the SKCTC performing arts initiative, will host the annual Christmas Extravaganza at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday the theatre of the Godbey Appalachian Center on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College.
Admission to the show is $5 for children and $10 for adults.
The group, which features school children from across Harlan County, will perform some of your holiday favorites during the performances.
For more information, contact Michael Corriston at 606-589-3137 or Robin Bingham at 606-573-4168.
The choir of Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College will present its annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Cumberland Methodist Church and 3 p.m. on Sunday at Harlan Episcopal Church, directed by Professor Ann Schertz and accompanied by Clara Atkins-Pope.
Highlights of the performance will include tunes from around the world as well as a stunning choral arrangement by Arthur Warrell of the Appalachian carol, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head.’
The performances are free and everyone is invited to attend. For additional information, contact Professor Schertz at 606-589-5442.
The 2015 Harlan County Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, sponsored by the Harlan County Chamber of Commerce, Harlan Daily Enterprise and Harlan Tourist Commission in cooperation with the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office and the city of Harlan.
The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. with lineup beginning at 4 p.m. at Harlan Baptist Church. This year’s theme is “Harlan County Heroes.”
The grand marshal of the Harlan parade is Jordan Smith, our hometown contestant on ‘The Voice’ and Harlan Countian of the Year. Smith is currently competing on The Voice, so his family will serve as grand marshal.
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Best Children’s Float, first- and second-place; Best Religious Float, first- and second-place; Best Theme; Chamber of Commerce Award; Best Scouting Group, first- and second-place; and Grand Prize Winner.
The streets and the intersections involved in the Harlan parade will be closed to through traffic on the day of the parade 30 minutes before the start time. Residents are asked to move your vehicles two hours before the start time. You may park in the city lot or on streets unaffected by the parade. All vehicles must be moved prior to the start times. Any vehicle left parked on the street prior to the start will be towed by the police department and impounded at the owner’s expense.
The Kentucky Coal Museum in Benham will host a Festival of Trees and open house on Saturday with free admission.
Enjoy viewing the Christmas trees and vintage toy exhibit, and join in for refreshments from 6-9 p.m. The musical group, Get Real, will be performing and there will be a meet and greet with local authors.
For more information about the event, call 606-848-1530.
Rounding out the weekend events is the annual Evarts Christmas Parade at 3 p.m. on Sunday with lineup beginning at 1 p.m. This year’s theme is “Christmas Miracle” and the grand marshal will be T.J. Brewer.