Welcome to Kentucky’s Favorite Christmas Town.
That should be Ashland’s slogan for November and December.
It doesn’t take a marketing genius to know what we do best around here. It’s as plain as the red nose on Rudolph’s face: It’s Christmas!
What other town our size — or a town almost any size — has what we have or does what we do around the holidays? I mean, seriously, let’s think about it for a minute.
We start Christmas as early as Walmart and Hobby Lobby — and I say good for us. It’s our Calling Card. Our Christmas Calling Card, if you will.
Doesn’t it make you feel good when city workers start stringing the lights downtown or the Paramount Arts Center puts up its tree on the outside of the marquee? You know Christmas is calling.
I know there’s all that hustle and bustle, that gift-buying, house-decorating, party planning and everything else that goes along with the busiest season of the year. But take a second to smell the poinsettias — Christmas is pretty cool around here.
And, on a personal note, I hope we never forget the real reason for the season — the birth of Jesus Christ. Remember, it’s not just about the gifts under the tree. There’s a lot more to Christmas than that.
It’s an uplifting season and it starts early in Our Town, our very own Christmas Town USA, earlier than most places.
On Monday, they flipped the switch for the Winter Wonderland of Lights that officially gets the festivities started.
We Townies tend to take for granted the spectacularness of the Winter Wonderland of Lights around Central Park. But it’s certainly a great marketing tool for our city. People come from miles around to see the light displays twinkling. While here, they find out a little about Ashland’s friendliness (hopefully anyway), our vast choices of eateries (yummy) and plenty of shopping opportunities (cha-ching go the cash registers).
On Tuesday comes the annual Christmas Parade, an event in and of itself. It takes a couple of hours to watch the entire parade and, if you’ve lived here long enough, then you probably have some connection to it — either as a longtime bystander or probably a participant in some form or fashion.
I’ve been at the Christmas Parade in ridiculously warm and ridiculously cold weather. It doesn’t matter, it’s part of the tradition.
Of course, there’s the Festival of Trees and Trains at the Paramount Arts Center. What says Christmas more than Christmas trees? It’s another event we locals take for granted, but the grandness of it shouldn’t be underestimated. First-time viewers are overwhelmed and it’s one of the most amazing displays you’ll see during the holidays anywhere.
But the PAC doesn’t stop there. After the Trees and Trains are plenty of other Christmas goodies in the forms of shows and concerts.
And here’s a shameless plug: Unity Baptist Church, where I attend, has been putting on the “Living Christmas Tree” for more than 25 years. Where else can you go and see a 40-foot Christmas tree loaded with 30,000 sychronized lights and singers? Ashland has one.
You’ve got to love our Christmas spirit. Not in the mood for the holidays? Just come and pay Ashland a visit, shop in our stores, take a leisurely stroll (or ride) around the park and sip on a hot chocolate, or lose yourself in the seemingly never-ending Christmas parade. It’ll melt the heart of any Scrooge.
“Bah! Humbug?” Not around here. It’s not allowed. Not in Christmas Town USA.
Shout it from the rooftops — just don’t nudge Santa from his perch — Ashland is Kentucky’s Favorite Christmas Town.
That’s us. Come and visit. You’ll be glad you did.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2648.
Welcome to Kentucky’s Favorite Christmas Town.
- Local News
News in brief, 07/24/14
A Fleming County man was arrested on sex charges Tuesday by the Kentucky State Police.
Boyd/Greenup backpack program turns 10
For 10 years, the Ashland Alliance Young Professionals Association has been helping children start their school year off right.
Area water plants recognized
Water treatment plants across the state were recognized for consistently producing drinking water in 2013 that exceeded state and federal water quality standards, including the Rattlesnake Ridge Water District in Olive Hill and six others.
City gives wastewater treatment plant operations to Greenup agency
During joint special meetings of the Greenup Joint Sewer Agency and the Wurtland city commission on Tuesday, Wurtland agreed to hand over operations of its wastewater treatment plant to the agency.
Pending the signing and approval of certain legal documents, plant operations will officially be under the GJSA on Aug. 1.
Edelen studies fiscal health of rural hospitals
On the fourth stop of his listening tour to address the fiscal health of rural hospitals, Adam Edelen said the crowd in Morehead was the largest he has seen yet.
The big attendance attests to how seriously the region regards the issue of sustainability of local hospitals, he said.
Putnam renovations ‘coming together’ as football season approaches
Locker rooms are beginning to take shape at Putnam Stadium as rebuilding of the venerable arena nears completion.
Workers are readying concrete forms on the home side and grading the site on the visitors’ side and soon will erect the structures, the goal to have them ready to use for the first home game of the 2014 season Aug. 22.
Huntington man wanted for armed robbery
The Ashland Police Department is searching for an 18-year-old Huntington man who was involved in an armed robbery last month.
Detroit man arrested near Fairview
A Detroit man was arrested Wednesday after an undercover drug buy near Fairview High School, the Boyd County Sheriff's Department reported.
- Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.
Construction at Kentucky football stadium to go on
The $110 million construction project at the University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium will continue through the upcoming football season with the goal of finishing renovations before the 2015 kickoff.
- More Local News Headlines
- News in brief, 07/24/14