By Jimmie Earls
Sun Staff Writer
Christmas will be coming to Springfield a few weeks early as the city, along with neighboring Lebanon, hosts the Heart of Kentucky Holiday Festival Dec. 5-7.
This is the fourth year for the event, which will feature a weekend full of activities for young and old.
The Springfield portion of the festival kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, on the lawn of the Washington County Courthouse. Local churches will be singing carols and the Christmas story will be told, following by the lighting of the official Washington County Christmas tree.
A full day of activity is planned for Saturday, so the best thing to do is fuel up with Breakfast in Bethlehem at Springfield Baptist Church. There will be homemade waffles, sausage casseroles and much more.
Monetary donations will be accepted, and all proceeds go toward the church's building fund. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m.
The Springfield Opera House will host a variety of activities throughout the day. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a Christmas Crafters Market will offer handmade arts and crafts as well as great gift ideas. There will be approximately 18 crafters, many of them from the area.
Also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Washington County Homemade Bakery will offer goods by some of Washington County's best bakers. Choose from a mouthwatering selection of cakes, pies, cookies and candy.
During this time, Christmas music will be performed in the opera house by the children's theatre and other musicians. The Washington County Angel Tree will also be at the opera house. This is a great way to help out those in need during the holidays.
At 11 a.m., the Washington County Public Library will host a Christmas story time for kids of all ages at City Hall.
The Christmas Parade starts at noon on Main Street. The theme this year is “Come Home for Christmas.” There will be a float contest with cash prizes given for first, second and third places. The Grand Marshals of this year's parade will be the Washington County High School Marching Band, which recently won a state band championship. The parade will also feature an appearance by Santa himself. For more information about the parade, call (859) 336-5440.
Following the parade, Santa will be available at the Opera House to hear those Christmas wishes from the children and pose for photos. There will be a fee for the photos.
From 3-5 p.m., tours will be available of the recently renovated Mordecai Lincoln House located at Lincoln Homestead State Park. Celebrate a pioneer Christmas with decorations from the period and learn about the Lincoln heritage of Washington County.
Finish Saturday by enjoying the Mid-Kentucky Chorus Christmas Concert at St. Catherine College. Singers and musicians from nine Kentucky counties join to create an uplifting and spectacular experience. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Price information is available by calling Susan Spalding at (859) 336-9232.
Springfield winds down the weekend with the Lions/Rotary Auction on Sunday. This live radio auction has become a local tradition. This is a great way to pick up unique holiday gifts. All money raised benefits community projects and scholarships provided by the Springfield Lions and Rotary clubs. Tune in to WLSK 100.9 MIKE FM at 1 p.m. for all of the exciting auction action.