A WonDERFUL Woodford Christmas 2023

Have a Wonderful Woodford Christmas  

     There’s a lot to be said for the holiday season in a big city with all its hustle and bustle.  But there’s also a certain magic about Christmas in a small town. Why else would Hallmark make all those movies about it? 

     Christmas in Woodford County is, indeed, the “most wonderful time of the year,” with an array of Santa sightings, seasonal sounds and smells, and activities from candlelit caroling to cooking demos to help ring in the holidays. 

     The fun gets started November 4th with Midway’s Holiday Kickoff (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)  It may not be New York City’s Macy’s or Tiffany’s windows, but we promise the decorations won’t disappoint. 

     In Versailles, the Downtown Merchants are also gearing up for the first of eight holiday movie-themed shopping days.  On Nov. 4th, the merchants will prove that The Grinch does have a generous side with 50% off deals. 

       Each week leading up to Christmas will have a different movie theme:  White Christmas (Nov. 11th); Polar Express (Nov. 18th); Home Alone (November 25th); Elf (Dec. 2nd); Miracle on 34th Street (Dec. 9th); Christmas Vacation (Dec. 16th), and if you are truly naughty and haven’t done your shopping  yet, Santa’s giving you one last chance with The Santa Claus (Dec. 23rd). 

     Speaking of “Miracle 0n 34th Street”, that beloved holiday classic about a disillusioned little girl and a very special man will begin its run at the Woodford Theater on December 8th.  

    From now until Nov. 12th, “James and the Giant Peach”, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel about a young boy taking the ultimate fantastic voyage, will entertain audiences. 

     November 11th promises to be a busy day in Woodford County.  That’s the day that kids can write letters to Santa and learn to paint cookies to leave for him on Christmas Eve at The Little House, while over at Bel-Air Florist & Gift Shop, Food Network chef Jason Smith will be on hand prior to the Nov. 14th release of his book “Lord Honey.” 

     Not to be outdone, Midway will hold its first Sip ‘n Shop on November 11th, with the knowledge that sipping always makes shopping more pleasurable.  If you miss this one, there will be another Sip ‘n Shop on December 16th.  Just be sure you don’t sip so much you forget to shop. 

     The elegant Kentucky Castle might be considered Ground Zero for holiday events in Woodford County.  The Castle’s inaugural holiday event (November 12th) is a “Frozen” Tea for all the fans of Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and Elsa from the Disney animated film. 

     They will follow that up with a slew of events guaranteed to please children and adults alike.  On December 3rd, Santa will arrive at the Kentucky Castle for brunch, and in the spirit of the season, the Grinch – who promises to be on his best holiday behavior – has been invited to host his own brunch on December 10th

     You just know that Santa has to have the last word – or in this case, brunch – as he comes back to the Kentucky Castle on December 17th for a return engagement. 

     Dress up in your finest attire and whirl away the night at the Castle’s Enchanted Ball (for Woodford County’s little princes and princesses (December 15th), and its New Year’s Eve Gala (December 31st) for the parents of those princes and princesses. 

     Don’t worry – Mrs. Claus won’t be left out of the festivities.  On December 9th, she will leave Santa and the elves busily at work at the North Pole, while she hitches up the reindeer to transport her to Midway’s Thoroughbred Theatre.  While presiding over an afternoon tea, the North Pole’s First Lady will answer your most probing questions:  what is Santa’s favorite cookie?  Christmas Carol?  Reindeer? 

     Christmas Markets may be all the rage in Europe, but they’re pretty popular in Woodford County as well.  See for yourself at two holiday markets where you can sip hot cider and stock up on unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list.   

     The Versailles Presbyterian Church will hold its holiday market on November 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Operating on the theory that one day just isn’t enough for a Christmas Market, the Kentucky Castle will spread its market out over two days, November 18th and 19th. 

     In the spirit of friendly competition, Versailles will stage a Gingerbread Puppet Play at the library on November 17th at 6:00 p.m., while Midway will follow the next day, November 18th with a Scavenger Hunt. 

     No word yet on what exactly you will be scavenging for, but it works like this:  get a clue from participating stores and restaurants, and once you find the item, take a picture and post it.  There will be a drawing for a holiday basket courtesy of the Midway merchants.  

     There may be a nip in the air on November 18th when runners get on their marks for the Turkey Trot at the Huntertown Interpretive Center, and again on December 2nd for both the Santa’s Shuffle 5K and Kids’ Dash, and Santa’s Golf Open at the Woodford Club. 

     You can take the chill off with some spicy fare at the Midway Chili Cook-off before heading to Versailles for the annual Christmas Parade at 5:00 p.m. on December 2nd

     The night before the parade, December 1st, you might have to bundle up as well for the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Versailles, scheduled for 5:30 p.m.  It’s a sure bet that there will be plenty of wide eyes and a chorus of “ooohhhs” and “aaahhhs” as downtown Versailles glows with holiday lights. 

     If you want to elevate your Christmas cooking this year, Woodford County’s own Ouita Michel will be here to help with cooking demonstrations at her new Main Street studio, HollyHill & Co. in Versailles.  

     You’ll have three opportunities to learn how to make the perfect gingerbread man or Christmas cookie as Ouita and her staff of cooking elves will be in the studio December 2nd, 4th and 9th

     What is Christmas without the songs of the season?  On December 16th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Versailles’ Main Street will be the location of the Christmas Caroling Candlelight Stroll.  Raise your voice in song; hop into a carriage for a ride and enjoy hot chocolate to ward off the chill. 

     In Woodford County, we know that Christmas isn’t just a time of joyous celebration; it’s also a time of solemn reflection and giving back to those less fortunate. 

     On November 14th, learn what Christmas is truly about with the unveiling of the Woodford CASA Angel Tree at Lakeshore Learning in Midway.  Select an Angel and know that you are making Christmas brighter for abused and neglected children. 

      Then experience the solemnity and holiness of the season at the Midway University vespers Christmas concert on November 29th.    

     From an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party to a pancake breakfast put on by the Kiwanis Club to a bevy of holiday open houses, join us for a Wonderful Woodford Christmas. 

     For more information on times and locations of Woodford County’s holiday events, go to visitwoodfordky.com