‘Tis the season
The Christmas season is officially kicked off on Fri., Nov. 23, with PNC Bank’s Light Up Bardstown and the lighting of the official Christmas tree accompanied by music, refreshments, extended shopping hours and the arrival of Santa Claus. That same night My Old Kentucky Home opens its doors for guided Candlelight Tours followed by bourbon barrel cake, cookies and hot cider. (Visit Bardstown’s Calendar of Events at http://www.VisitBardstown.com for additional tour dates.) And Santa Claus comes to the Old Nelson County Courthouse on Nov. 24 as well as Dec. 1, 8 and 15 for pictures and visits.
Ride the rails on a holiday express
The Kentucky Railway Museum hosts the Evening Santa Express on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 and Dec. 7-9, 14-16 and 21-22, a journey to the North Pole to pick up Santa. Kids can dress in their jammies and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. On Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22, the KRM’s Santa Express makes a daytime trip with Santa and his helpers who pass through the train handing out Christmas goodies. Visit www.KyRail.org for more details.
My Old Kentucky Dinner Train takes a magical 1 1/2-hour excursion on Dec. 9, 16 and 23 for its North Pole Express that includes a special holiday meal and visits with Santa. Once Santa returns to the North Pole, the dinner train will ring in the New Year on a 2 1/2-hour New Year’s Eve Excursion with couple’s packages that include champagne and flowers. Visit www.KyDinnerTrain.com for details.
Parade, tours, teas, plays
More Christmas fun awaits in town, with the Bardstown-Nelson County Christmas Parade planned for 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 (Dec. 7, if weather cancels). Watch the “worst kids in the world” put on a Christmas pageant during Bardstown Community Theater’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” on Dec. 8-9 and 14-16 at the Bardstown Civic Center.
Maker’s Mark Distillery Holiday Tours take place on Dec. 1 and 8 and feature a candlelight tour of the historic distillery and their charming 1850’s Victorian village. On Dec. 8, Bardstown’s Christmas Tour of Homes shows off homes decked out in their holiday splendor, including My Old Kentucky Home. At historic Wickland Estate, guests may don their white gloves and holiday spirit for Mrs. Julia Beckham’s Christmas Tea on Dec. 8 and 9. Julia Wickliffe Beckham, the only woman in the world to be the mother, sister and daughter of a governor, will host a Victorian Tea and share memories of her life at Wickland at the turn-of-the-
Other holiday events include the Mid-Kentucky Chorus at St. Catharine performing at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1; Jailer’s Inn Open House on Dec. 6; the Fine Arts Bardstown Society Holiday Open House on Dec. 8-9; and a Live Nativity on Dec. 21-23. Visit http://www.VisitBardstown.com for more information on all of Bardstown’s holiday events.
Dawn Przystal, Vice President-Bardstown-
Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist & Convention Commission, http://www.VisitBardstown.com
HI- and LOW-RES photos available.
ABOUT BARDSTOWN, KY | Located in central Kentucky, Bardstown was recently selected as the Most Beautiful Small Town in America in the Rand McNally/USA Today 2012 “Best of the Road” contest. More familiarly known as the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” Bardstown sits in the heart of Kentucky Bourbon Country, home to five distilleries, including Barton 1792 with new Tasting Room and the restored and newly re-opened Willett Distillery. Three of Bardstown’s distilleries – Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam – are on the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Major attractions include the “Stephen Foster Story,” Kentucky’s official outdoor drama that takes place in My Old Kentucky Home State Park; the Civil War Museum of the Western Theatre (one of the four most significant such museums in the country); The Kentucky Railway Museum, where Thomas the Tank Engine is known to put in appearances;