Home for the holidays

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Marion County has plenty to offer those looking to celebrate the Christmas season

By Stephen Lega

Marion County will be hosting a handful of holly jolly happenings this weekend.
Christmas lights, parades and Charlie Brown will be part of the festivities.
In Lebanon, the Heart of Kentucky Holiday Festival will be taking place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7. The festival kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday with Dickens Christmas on Main Street. A tree lighting will take place outside of the Marion County Heritage Center.
Santa will be at the heritage center from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. While at the center, visitors can also stop by the Arts and Crafts Fair (hosted by Mike FM), featuring items created by artists from Marion County and surrounding areas.
The first 300 visitors at the heritage center will receive a free commemorative ornament.
Throughout downtown, business storefronts will be competing in a window decorating contest. Carolers will also be strolling through the streets, and visitors can tempt their taste buds by sampling the various entries in the chili cook-off.
Just a short walk away, Lebanon United Methodist will be hosting its annual live nativity.
Be sure to be back on Main Street by 7 p.m. Friday for the Dickens Christmas Parade.
For some family-friendly entertainment, Kentucky Classic Theatre is presenting “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at 8 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday in Angelic Hall at Centre Square in Lebanon. Advance tickets are available for $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under at the heritage center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. At the door, tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children.
But that’s only part of what’s happening throughout the county.
Anyone looking for a less conventional Christmas celebration could check out Xmas at XB Arena at 6 p.m. Saturday at 1280 Manton Road near Loretto. Visitors can watch bull riding and mutton bustin’ competitions and talk to Santa.
Maker’s Mark Distillery will be hosting the first weekend of its annual candlelight tours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. Visitors can purchase a special souvenir bottle, try some refreshments and walk through an 1850s Victorian village. The candlelight tours will be repeated Dec. 14.
In Bradfordsville, they have made a few changes to the yearly Christmas in the Country event. It will start at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, outside the Bradfordsville Civic Center where Zippyland will open with rides including a Christmas train and possibly a bungee ride. At 4:30 p.m. a turkey/ham supper will be served at the civic center. The meal will include a drink, cranberry sauce, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls and pie.
Check out the homes and businesses in and around Bradfordsville that are taking part in a Christmas decorating contest, and for the first time, the Christmas parade will take place at night. The line-up for the parade will begin at 6 p.m. at Dudley’s Heating and Air. The parade will start at 7 p.m.
After the parade, stop by the Bradfordsville School to visit with Santa, and maybe get a photo with him, too.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, Bradfordsville will host its Christmas pot luck at the Bradfordsville Civic Center. Everyone is invited. Just bring your favorite dish. The meat and drinks are provided by the city.

Standing attractions
Outside of Loretto, Ruley’s Santa Claus Land at 165 Stringtown Road in Loretto will be open through New Year’s Day. Walk around the farm decorated with thousands of lights and hundreds of displays. For more information, call 270-865-5242.
Christmas in the Park opened last week at Graham Memorial Park in Lebanon.
Serenity Farm Alpacas, 1380 Frogg Lane in Raywick, is hosting a Holiday Open House through Dec. 21. Call 270-692-8743 for more information.
For those who really want to get in the holiday “spirits,” Kentucky Cooperage Tours will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cooperage is located at 712 E. Main Street in Lebanon. Call 270-692-4674 for more information.
Limestone Branch Distillery is holding its Moonshine and Mistletoe from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The distillery is located at 1280 Veterans Memorial Highway in Lebanon. To learn more, call 270-692-9004.
And WhiteMoon Winery, 25 Arthur Mattingly Road in Lebanon, is hosting a WhiteMoon Christmas. The winery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 270-402-1285 to learn more.