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Holiday events slated for December

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By Natasha LaFayette

Campbell County is preparing several festivities for the holiday season with Christmas celebrations planned in LaFollette, Jellico and Cove Lake State Park Christmas in the Park

Keeping with the Christmas tradition of tree lightings, songs and nativities, Cove Lake State Park in Caryville will host the annual Christmas in the Park on Dec. 1.

The opening celebration starts at 6 p.m. and will feature the tree lighting and fireworks display.

The crowd is then encouraged to disperse through the park along the trails illuminated with over 2,500 glowing candles.

There will be live nativity scenes and stands with coffee, hot chocolate or cider. At the recreation pavilion building, Children can take pictures with Santa and share Christmas wishes.

Near the pool, Santa’s workshop will be set up with an arts and crafts center. Children will be able to construct Christmas crafts and enjoy refreshments at the Santa workshop station.

Another attraction for the event is in the campground. According to Cove Lake State Park Office Clerk Connie Butcher, a campfire will be blazing and carolers will join to sing around the fire.  At the campground entrance wagon rides will be available for the younger children.

At several sites carolers will be seen and heard.

The event will last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is free for everyone.

“Everybody is a child at heart so everybody has a good time,” said Butcher who reminded those attending to dress warmly for the chilly evening festivities.

Campbell County Christmas Parade

On Saturday, Dec. 6, the annual Campbell County Christmas parade will march through LaFollette.

The parade will start at 6 p.m. and include floats from students, businesses and churches.

Churches and youth groups will be eligible for the “Reason for the Season” award in the amount of $500.

All floats will be assigned a position in the parade. Anyone competing for a cash prize must not work on the floats after 4:50 p.m.; judging for the floats will begin promptly at 5 p.m. The first place float wins the $700 prize, second is $600 and third is $500.

The deadline to register a float in the parade is Dec. 4 at the end of the business day. Entry forms can be obtained at the parade website by visiting www.campbellchristmasparade.com.

The grand marshal for this year’s parade is Jerry Sharp, known for his continued work with the Campbell County Historical Society and Museum.

An open door reception for Sharp will be held at LaFollette City Hall on the day of the parade from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

While the parade will be similar to last year, the schedule of the fireworks will be different.

According to Kelli Jo Wright, Christmas parade chair, the fireworks will be shot off when Sharp goes under the lights and not at the end with the horses.

The horses will parade through town at the end of the line, and a $25 award and ribbon will be presented to the most beautifully decorated steed at 5:30 p.m.

Wright explained that classic cars must also register for parade participation. The vehicles must be at least 25 years old and completely restored.

Registered car clubs are exempt from these standards and will be required to line up together in advance.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the 19 member committee decided three years ago that the single largest complaint about the parade at that time was too many insignificant cars that took up valuable space and lots of time in the parade line,” said Wright.

Wright also mentioned the use of sirens during the event. According to the Christmas parade board, the vehicles with sirens can sound the horns under every light except light number seven, where the parade is broadcasted.

Elk Valley Christmas Parade

Keeping with tradition, the town of Elk Valley will be celebrating the 11th annual Christmas parade on Dec. 7.

Elk Valley local, Aline Ford, said all four-wheelers, horses and floats are welcome. The parade will line up at the Elk Valley School starting at 1 p.m. and leave the school at 2 p.m.

The parade will travel about three miles down Highway 297 and around the loop.

Jellico Christmas Parade

Though the Campbell County Christmas parade is right around the corner, Jellico is planning its parade for just a few days later.

On Dec. 14, the town of Jellico will host its annual Christmas parade starting at 2 p.m. The lineup will begin at Jellico High School and proceed to the starting point at the traffic light near Buddy’s Bar Q.

Parade participants will line up from the school down to the Union Bank parking lot. Participants can start lining up after 1 p.m. and be in place by 1:45 p.m.

“We try to make it easy by not requiring registration or restrictions,” said Tourism Director Jake Bennett. “Except for four-wheelers. We do not allow four-wheelers unless they are pulling a float.”

A grand marshal for the parade has not been confirmed. Bennett plans to update the public on this information when it is finally decided.

The Campbell County High School Band and the Whitley County High School Band will both march in the parade while playing instruments.

Bennett also explained the parade has had a confirmation from a very large group of Shriners that plan to be in the parade this year.

“If the weather is nice we’ll have a billion people here,” said Bennett. “Even dignitaries from here and Williamsburg will be at the parade.”

With the floats in the lead and horses in the back, the parade will march down Fifth Street, right on Broad Street, left on Third Street to North Main and then to the baseball field.

According to Bennett, $300 cash prizes will be awarded to only first place winners in the church, commercial, and non-commercial categories.