HUNTINGTON — As quickly as the jack-o’-lanterns were put away and calendars turned to November, winter events were planned to help people of all ages get into the holiday spirit.
From Santa sightings to parades and more, here are some ways to welcome Christmas in the Tri-State:
Festival of Trees and Trains
Taking place Nov. 18-27, the 38th annual Festival of Trees and Trains at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland is a 10-day annual holiday fundraiser that features fantastically decorated trees, entertainment, children’s activities, food, local shopping, and much more. Tickets are on sale now at ParamountArtsCenter.com.
Pet photos with Santa
Join us for Pet Photo weekend from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday Nov. 20. All pets are the responsibility of pet owners at all times and are required to be on a leash or in a carrier while in the mall for photos. While supplies last, each pet will receive a holiday bandanna and toy with photo purchase.
Huntington Christmas Parade
The 2022 Huntington Christmas Parade of Lights, presented by Dutch Miller auto group and hosted by Downtown Huntington Partners, will be Friday, Dec. 2. Lineup will begin at 6 p.m. and the parade starts at 7 p.m.
The parade route begins on 4th Avenue at 13th Street and concludes at the downtown DoubleTree Hotel. Grand marshals will be Marshall University President Brad D. Smith and his wife, Alys Smith.
To reserve your spot in the parade, contact Kelly Williamson at email@example.com or Jennifer Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications to be in the parade are available on the Downtown Huntington Partners website.
Christmas in Barboursville
Barboursville's 2022 holiday schedule begins with its parade and tree lighting at 6 p.m. Dec. 1. The Village of Lights driving tour at Barboursville Park also opens Dec. 1 and continues through Dec. 31. It will be open from 6-10 p.m. daily. Village of Lights is free, but some nonprofit and community organizations will collect donations on some days. To see updates and learn more, visit the Barboursville Village of Lights Facebook page.
The Lion's Club hosts a pancake breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 3 at the Barboursville Senior Center.
Santa comes to town at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, when he will set up at the gazebo in Nancy Cartmill Gardens. Santa's mailbox will also be available for children in the gazebo from Nov. 28-Dec. 16.
Christmas on the Farm
The BARKer Farm in North Pedro, Ohio, will host Christmas on the Farm. The dates are Friday, Nov. 25, Friday, Dec. 16, both from 6 to 8 p.m. Activities include drinking hot cocoa, roasting s’mores, relaxing by the fire and visiting Nativity Animals in the Christmas Barn. Stop by the Candyland Gift Shop and write a note to Santa at the letter station. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/461535995587 and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/461537449937.
Join the Marshall family for Herd Holiday from 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the Memorial Student Center located on Marshall University’s Huntington Campus. The event will feature a tree lighting on the Memorial Student Center Plaza at 5:30 p.m.; indoor activities such as painting ceramic ornaments and Build-A-Bison ($10 for those with Marshall ID, $20 for everyone else); Santa Marco photos; crafts; refreshments and more. Visit www.marshall.edu/herdholiday/ for a full listing.
Heritage Farm hosts its Christmas Village from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10. Tickets are on sale at https://heritagefarmmuseum.com/.
Heritage Farm Museum and Village will be transformed into a winter wonderland, with its buildings trimmed with lights, Christmas music and visits with Santa and Frosty. The event will occur regardless of weather.
Gallipolis Christmas Parade
Celebrate the Christmas season during the annual Downtown Gallipolis Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. Dec. 3. Line-up begins at noon. Registration is free and can be completed at https://visitgallia.com/2022-gallipolis-christmas-parade/. The deadline to register is Nov. 21.
Farm Museum light display
Two million lights will be twinkling this year at the West Virginia State Farm Museum to celebrate the Christmas season. The display runs Dec. 5-20 from 6-9 p.m. each evening. Admission to the light show is free, but donations in support of the nonprofit museum are appreciated. Santa will also be on hand to talk with the kids Thursday through Sunday each week. The State Farm Museum is located seven miles north of Point Pleasant, just off W.Va. Route 62
Model railroad show
The Appalachian Model Railroad Society hosts its 64th annual Model Railroad Show on Thanksgiving weekend at the Mountain Health Arena in Huntington.
The show will be open 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26; and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27.
Santa will be a special guest at the event, which will feature arts and crafts. Admission is $6 for adults and $1 for children 12 and younger.
Organist Rodney L. Barbour will perform a PipeSounds holiday concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church in Hurricane, West Virginia. This performance will mark Barbour’s 16th PipeSounds visit since the 2003 dedication of the Harrah Symphonic organ in the Hurricane church.
The concert of traditional Christmas music will be open with free admission, according to PipeSounds chairman David Peters. For more information, call 304-562-5903.
Park District events
The Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District hosts a series of Christmas events.
On Dec. 3, Breakfast with Santa will take place at St. Cloud Commons Lodge.
On Dec. 9, there will be a Cozy Christmas Campfire and Nativity Petting Zoo at Gobbler’s Knob in Ritter Park.
Gingerbread house decorating parties will be Dec. 13 and Dec. 15 at St. Cloud.
Around town, the park district will host its annual Where’s the Elf scavenger hunt starting Dec. 19.
As part of the Marshall Artists Series, world-renowned saxophonist Dave Koz & Friends’ 25th Anniversary Christmas Show takes place at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Koz will be joined by his friends, jazz music icons pianist Keiko Matsui, trumpeter Rick Braun, guitarist Peter White and vocalist Rebecca Jade. Koz and Friends will perform fresh renditions of timeless Christmas classics, as well as a Chanukah medley. Adult tickets range from $65.52-$98.42.
Mannheim Steamroller will perform at the Mountain Health Arena in Huntington on Friday, Dec. 16. Tickets start at $39, plus applicable fees and are available at the venue box office, mountainhealtharena.com, or pepperentertainment.com.
A Christmas Carol
“A Christmas Carol: Scrooge & Marley” will be presented by The Paramount Players Dec. 16 and 17 at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland.
Famous all over the world, the often bizarre and ultimately heart-warming story of Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the others needs no detailing here.
Mr. Horovitz’s adaptation follows the Dickens original scrupulously but, in bringing it to life on the stage, adds elements of inventiveness and brilliant theatricality that enhance and strengthen its timeless virtues.
The end result is a theater piece that will delight audiences of all ages. Tickets are on sale now.