Get ready for Christmas at the Center

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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The Harlan Center is set to celebrate the coming season with the Ninth Annual Christmas at the Center, which has become a favorite for young and old in Harlan County.

According to the city of Harlan Tourism’s website, the event is set to kick off on Dec. 2.

The event-filled day begins with the Jingle Bell Jog 5K at 9 a.m., with registration available at 8:30 a.m. To register for the Jingle Bell Jog, pick up an application at the Harlan Center or go to…/Jingle-Bell-Jog-5k.

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Following the 5K, Christmas at the Center officially opens at 10 a.m., bringing Christmas fun and excitement to all who wish to attend.

The live entertainment roster begins at 10 a.m. with the Dancing Dragons, followed at 10:30 a.m. by the Rosspoint Little Dancers.

Harlan Tourism’s Facebook page, Visit Harlan County, notes that live music starts at 11 a.m. when Brooklyn Collins takes the stage, with Lacy Deaton and Co. taking over the stage at noon. There will be a break in the music at 1 p.m., just in time for the Center’s Ugly Sweater Contest to begin.

The Ugly Sweater Contest offers a $250 Grand Prize for the ugliest sweater, with $100 prizes going to the ugliest sweater in the male over 13, female over 13, male 12 and under, and female 12 and under categories.

If ugly sweaters aren’t your thing, there is still a chance to take home a $250 Grand Prize by winning the Gingerbread House contest. The Gingerbread House competition will see the top gingerbread creator going home with the $250 Grand Prize, the second-place winner will pocket $150, and the third-place contestant will find themselves $100 richer. To enter, drop off your creation at the Harlan Center from Nov. 27, until Dec. 2.

The gingerbread houses will decorate the Harlan Center during the event. The deadline to enter your gingerbread house is noon on the day of the event. Awards and gingerbread houses can be picked up at the Harlan Center between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Dec. 2.

Live music makes a return at 2 p.m. when Shyla Raleigh takes the stage. Studio 606 appears at 3 p.m., with Sunrise Ridge rounding out the day’s live entertainment at 4 p.m.

Perhaps the most important visitor at Christmas at the Center will be Santa Claus himself, who will be making an appearance in the upstairs gallery from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Santa will be available to hear what kids want for Christmas and for pictures throughout his visit.

Remember to hang around after Christmas at the Center wraps up to witness the Christmas Parade as it winds its way through downtown Harlan beginning at 6 p.m. The Christmas Parade gets rolling at 6 p.m. Participants will be lining up for the parade beginning at 4:30 p.m. Applications to participate in the Christmas Parade can be picked up at the Harlan Center or visit…/2023-Christmas.