THE HOLIDAYS IN LOUISVILLE: FAMILY TRADITIONS

 

“Haul out the holly

Put up the tree before
my spirits fall again

Fill up the stocking

I may be rushing things,
but deck the halls again now”

Regardless of faith tradition, we could all use some holiday magic. Event organizers across Louisville are making thoughtful changes to get you and the family out and about to enjoy the festivities.


Fête de Noël Winter Holiday Festival

“Holiday traditions create memories that last a lifetime,” says Paristown Director of Business Development Jeanne Hilt. Paristown’s signature holiday event, the 2nd annual Fête de Noël (“Festival of Christmas”) presented by Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company, runs from November 25 through January 3, 2021. With so much to see and do for the whole family, multiple visits may be in order!

At the heart of the six-week celebration is Louisville’s only outdoor ice-skating rink, making Paristown the perfect holiday destination for young and old. Lace up your skates (or rent a pair from the Skate Shack) and take a spin around the ice, do a little ice dancing to silent disco, or grab a yummy Kentucky Hot Cocoa with or without Maker’s Mark from the rinkside concession bar. Paristown’s 2nd Annual Fête de Noël will once again offer programming for all audiences and all ages.

New this season is a traditional Christmas Village Market on Brent Street featuring a rotating lineup of local vendors and non-profit organizations. After browsing the outside market, venture into Stoneware & Co. to tour the factory, paint your own Christmas ornament, and shop for truly unique gifts. Established in 1815 and formerly known as Louisville Stoneware, Stoneware and Co. has recently undergone a historical restoration at its long-time home in Paristown. The new showroom is double the previous space’s size and includes a sample kitchen, a Jon Carloftis Gardening area, an expanded “paint your own'' studio, and handcrafted gifts and unique gift crates perfect for anyone on your list. Stoneware’s creative gift crates now include a bottle of your favorite adult beverage to add holiday cheer.

One of Louisville’s most beloved restaurants, The Café has a new home in a spectacular historical restoration of the old Louisville Leather building (circa. 1875) right across Brent Street in Paristown. The Café will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner dining inside and exterior dining in the newly opened Atrium, which connects to the Stoneware & Co. building, with all safety guidelines in place. The Cafe also operates and curates Fête de Noël’s rinkside concession bar, where small bites and craft cocktails are available anytime the ice-skating rink is open. Visitors can grab dinner at The Café or rinkside, shop at Stoneware & Co. and the Christmas Village Market, enjoy an hour skate while watching a holiday movie on the enormous outdoor screen on Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, and top off a day of memory making with a Kentucky Hot Cocoa.

With ample, convenient parking, a variety of outdoor entertainment options, social-distancing, and capacity limitations, required mandatory masks, and a commitment to guests’ safety, Fête de Noël will bring holiday joy and create lasting memories for friends and family near and far. For more information, visit paristown.com. Be sure to sign up for Paristown email updates on operating hours, special Fête de Noël programming, and to inquire about private group rentals - only available at limited hours and on limited days. Follow @paristownky on social media for schedule announcements, ice conditions, and updates.

Let's Go:

paristown.com/fetedenoel • 720 Brent St, Louisville, KY 40204
November 25, 2020 – January 3, 2021


Christmas at the Ridge: Old Fashioned Family Traditions

Walnut Ridge Nursery & Garden Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana, has released a full slate of 2020 Holiday Events and Classes in addition to the annual Christmas Open House. This year’s events intend to maintain public safety with strict adherence to CDC guidelines for Indiana. According to Garden Center Manager Amy Short, “The store is much more open and spaced out this year for social distancing. We will also be watching the number of people in the store at one time.” With exciting craft ideas, fascinating classes, take-home kits, and visits with Santa, there is something for everyone at Walnut Ridge this season.

“One of my favorite things about Christmas at the Ridge is that visiting Walnut Ridge each year at Christmas is a tradition for families in the local communities, says Amy. “We hear stories each year from customers who remember coming as children, and now bring their kids or grandkids. We have the largest artificial Christmas tree and decor display in Kentuckiana and are known for quality products, especially our Christmas trees. We have over 150 different trees to choose from!”

The fun begins with a Reversible Wine Cork Pumpkin/Snowman Craft on Sunday, November 22. At noon on Saturday, November 28, Santa arrives by fire truck! From 1:30-3:30 pm each Sunday until Christmas, Santa Visits and Photos are available by scheduled appointment. Pick up for the Christmas Tea Party at Home Kits is November 28, December 5, and December 12. Kits are $50 each, must be preordered by November 15, and include Walnut Ridge signature blend tea bags, holiday napkins, tea cookies, a craft, a storybook, and more!

Make your own Decorated Sled Floral Design on November 29 or a Fresh Arrangement Floral Design on December 20. December 5 is the Wooden Circle Door Hanger Craft. The Fresh Greens Porch Pot Making Class is on December 6 and the Bow Making Class on December 12. Friday, December 18 at 7 pm is the Pajama Party with Santa, with a second date added if necessary. The Kids Bird Seed Ornament Class is on December 19.

For more complete event dates, times, costs, and registration details, visit walnutridge.com/events and @walnutridge1913 on Facebook.

Let's Go:

walnutridge.com/events • 2108 Hamburg Pike, Jeffersonville, IN 47130 • (812) 288-6691


Festival of Trees & Lights

Due to safety concerns, Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation will hold the 31st Annual Festival of Trees & Lights presented by Republic Bank entirely online November 13-15, 2020. In its 30-year history, the event has raised more than $10 million to benefit the Foundation and every area of Norton Children’s Hospital. Traditionally held at Slugger Field, the Festival of Trees & Lights will offer hundreds of trees, wreaths, and other greenery for sale. All designers are returning to participate in this year’s virtual event, the success of which depends on you.

“See the latest holiday design trends and explore other faith traditions. It’s a great way for our guests and families to kick off the holiday season,” says Amanda Current, Director of Events and Internal Relations for Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation. The Festival has been tied to the Foundation for its entirety, always seeking to include and benefit children. Norton Children’s Hospital itself gets involved with each of the different units designing trees.

On Saturday, November 14, Santa will send online messages to children, and families will receive crafting and tree-designing instructions. Sunday, November 15, will feature designer tutorials. There will also be plenty of Hanukkah-related activities throughout the weekend. For schedule updates, visit nortonchildrens.com/foundation/events/festival-trees-lights/ or follow Norton Children’s on Facebook.

This year’s Snow Ball gala on Saturday, November 21, will also be a virtual experience. Purchase a gourmet dinner from one of three participating restaurants and bid on fabulous silent auction items as you watch a special program featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the Norton Children’s Hospital. Learn more at nortonchildrens.com/foundation/events/snow-ball-gala/.

Home & BMW Raffle tickets are on sale now through November 21 for the drawing held during the Virtual Snow Ball Gala 2020 from 7:30-9:30 pm on Saturday, November 21. The first prize is a 2021 BMW X3 from BMW of Louisville plus $10,000 cash. Grand prize is a new home in Norton Commons built by Ramage Company. To purchase tickets, go to nortonchildrens.com/foundation/events/home-bmw-raffle/.

Let's Go:

nortonchildrens.com
Online bidding and purchasing of trees, wreaths, gifts and other decor opens Friday, November 13 and closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 15.


Lights Under Louisville

Lights Under Louisville at Louisville Mega Cavern launched as a holiday light and sound show in 2008 with over 200,000 lights and has had continued growth year after year. Twelve years and millions of lights later, Lights Under Louisville remains an annual tradition for families from all over Louisville and beyond. The yearly event has received such accolades as Southern Living® Magazine’s “Best Holiday Experience in Kentucky,” voted a USA Today “Top 10 Christmas Light Show in America,” and was named “#1 Holiday Light Show” by CNN.

Marvel at dazzling light displays with traditional and contemporary pop culture characters and over 40 breathtaking themes from the comfort of your vehicle. Lights Under Louisville is “the ONLY underground holiday light show in the world!” This season, hundreds of thousands of guests are expected to enjoy the 30-minute experience. The attraction is so popular that with General Admission waiting in traffic can be part of the experience. A Christmas Priority Pass allows you to skip the waiting areas and move toward the front of the line. Another option came about three years ago with the Christmas Express: a thirty-minute daytime drive through in an open-air tram. “The Christmas Express is an immersive experience, says Louisville Mega Cavern Executive Vice President Charles Park, “with lights along the ground, on all sides, and above you.”

Other advantages to attending Lights Under Louisville, according to Charles Park, are that “weather is a non-factor” underground, and you can appreciate the lights “throughout the day, perfect for younger children with earlier bedtimes.” With so many added projections and lights this year, you won’t want to miss this event safely viewed from your own car, with your own family. Also, ticketing is all online this year, and admission is an entirely contactless experience. Lights Under Louisville runs from November 13, 2020, through January 3, 2021. For pricing, ticketing, and other information, visit lightsunderlouisville.com and follow the Louisville Mega Cavern Facebook page.

Let's Go:

lightsunderlouisville.com • Inside the Louisville Mega Cavern
1841 Taylor Ave, Louisville, KY 40213
OPEN November 13, 2020 – January 3, 2021


Light Up St. Matthews

Light Up St. Matthews, which is now produced by The Chamber of St. Matthews, has been a holiday event since the 1970s. Traditionally held on the first Saturday in December, the event typically includes pictures with Santa, free hot chocolate and cookies, ice skating, train rides, an inflatable snow globe, along with light displays throughout Brown Park. While it is true that in 2020 there will be no formally hosted in-person programming or events for Light Up St. Matthews, the lights will still go up in early December.

On Saturday, December 5, a live broadcast of the lighting display unveiling will be available on the Chamber of St. Matthews Facebook page. The Chamber of St. Matthews is asking that the public not attend this event in person. However, they will select one lucky family to accompany the Mayor of St. Matthews and Santa Claus as they flip the switch and Light Up St. Matthews! To determine the winner, Park Community Credit Union will be sponsoring a coloring contest. The coloring page and contest details will appear on The Chamber of St. Matthews website and social media.

Beginning Sunday, December 6, The Chamber of St. Matthews invites the general public to enjoy walking through and taking pictures among the beautiful holiday lights, including the lighted tree synchronized to music! Brown Park offers convenient parking. Park guests are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. For more information and updates, visit stmatthewschamber.com’s Community Events tab. Follow the Chamber of St. Matthews on social media: @stmatthewschamber on Facebook, @ChamberStMatts on Twitter, @chamberstmatthews on Instagram, and The Chamber of St. Matthews on LinkedIn.

Let's Go:

stmatthewschamber.com • Open to the general public December 6th


Bardstown Road Aglow

The Highland Commerce Guild continues its proud holiday tradition of the 35th annual Bardstown Road Aglow event on Saturday, December 5, 2020, from dusk until 10 pm. You are welcome to bring the family out early for lunch and shop through the afternoon. At 5:45 pm, Santa Claus will light the Highlands Holiday Tree from a safe, social distance. Adults often anchor at a favorite spot for dinner and prepare to “go the distance” with a stop for drinks and dessert along the way.

Customize your experience and celebrate the season while supporting local shops and restaurants on their most crucial night of commerce. You can get a change of venue by walking half a block! In 2019, the event extended beyond Bardstown Road, Baxter & Barret Avenues, and Douglass Loop with “The Barret Avenue Adventure” from Breckinridge Street to Winter Avenue. With an estimated attendance of 60000 last year, Bardstown Road Aglow was the largest holiday gathering in Kentucky.      

“The Highland Commerce Guild formed in 1974 to support the business environment in Highlands neighborhoods,” according to current Highland Commerce Guild President Aaron Givhan. Bardstown Road Aglow launched the following year. With event publicist and media contact Amy Foos Kapoor, and dozens of volunteers, Aaron and fellow Guild members are determined to spread some “holiday cheer with a social distancing twist.” Patrons are encouraged to walk, not ride, and to wear masks. For safety reasons, there will be no tents or trolleys. But all the special discounts at shops and restaurants remain!

“I am so impressed with the determination and cooperation of retailers and restaurants after this many months of disruption. December is a month of hope to support these local businesses. They are all very COVID aware, but the Highlands hospitality continues.” Aaron is grateful to major sponsor Elijah Craig® and 8th District Metro Councilman Brandon Coan, “We cannot thank them enough for helping us move forward this year.” For more information, visit bardstownroadaglow.org.

Let's Go:

bardstownroadaglow.org
Saturday, December 5 | dusk to 10:00 PM


Posted on 2020-11-05 by By Dawn Anderson | Courtesy Photos
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