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Contents:
Program 1509

1. Santa’s Sleigh
2. Our Town: Nazareth
3. A Civil War Christmas
4. Rough River’s Winter Wonderland
(Flash® format only)
Season 15 Menu

Pike County

For more information:
• The Kingsport, Tenn., Area Chamber of Commerce has a Santa Train Page with all the details.

Producer/Editor: Brandon Wickey
Videographers: Amelia Cutadean, Brandon Wickey
Audio: Joe Bauer
Audio Post: Chuck Burgess


Santa’s Sleigh

An Appalachian Tradition

Santa Claus is coming to town—and Dave Shuffett is along for the ride. We hop aboard Appalachia’s famous Santa Train, which has delivered Christmas presents to children in Eastern Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee since the 1940s. Dave gets to hand out presents, schmooze with Santa, and talk with several of Santa’s helpers—including Wynonna Judd.

The train always runs on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, traveling 110 miles from Shelbiana in Pike County and on through Virginia, finally arriving in Kingsport, Tenn., in time for that town’s afternoon Christmas parade.

Santa carries a heavy load on this special trip—an amazing 15 tons of gifts, candies, and toys. His helpers—some of whom have been participating for more than 50 years—say the pleasure is all theirs. The train is sponsored by CSX Transportation, Food City, and the Kingsport Tennessee Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Nelson County

For more information:
• The Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer has some information about Nazareth.
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, Ky. 40048, (502) 348-1578.

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographer: Prentice Walker
Editor: Jim Piston


Our Town—Nazareth

“Our Town” pays a visit, appropriately enough in this season, to Nazareth in Nelson County. The town, located about a mile north of Bardstown, was named for the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who opened a one-room school in 1814 at the St. Thomas Farm and began their work of educating children and caring for the sick.

A small town in the country, Kentucky’s Nazareth is probably similar in many respects to the small, out-of-the-way village where Jesus grew up. And certainly the compassionate spirit of Jesus lives on in the Sisters’ work on behalf of the poor. From humble pioneer beginnings, the religious order now has a global outreach, working in Belize, India, Nepal, and Botswana.

Nazareth is still the home of the Sisters of Nazareth Motherhouse and central offices. The Sisters also run the Nazareth Villages, an apartment facility in Nazareth for individuals who are 62 and older or who are physically or mentally challenged.

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Fayette County

For more information:
Lexington History Museum, 215 W. Main St., Lexington, Ky., 40507-1305, (859) 254-0530

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: John Schroering, Prentice Walker
Audio: Noel Depp
Editor: Jim Piston
Lighting: Don Dean


A Civil War Christmas

Common Threads

We travel back in time in our next segment to discover how Christmas was celebrated during the Civil War. Our guide for this journey is the Lexington History Museum, which in 2008 presented an exhibit on the subject.

For “A Civil War Christmas,” Debra Watkins, museum coordinator, researched hundreds of letters, diaries, journals, and newspapers of the time, and she discovered some common threads between Christmas present and the Christmases from our Civil War past.

There is a timeless quality in looking at Christmas through the eyes of a child, as we see when we view children’s toys and drawings of the period. War was never far away, and hit particularly close to home for Kentuckians in 1862, when Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan began his Christmas raid in the state.

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Grayson County

For more information:
Kentucky State Parks offer various promotions during the holiday season.
Rough River Dam State Resort Park, 450 Lodge Road, Falls of Rough, Ky. 40119-6100, (270) 257-2311

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographer: John Schroering
Audio: Brent Abshear
Audio Post: Chuck Burgess
Editor: Jay Akers


Rough River’s Winter Wonderland

Celebrate the Season!

What better way to enjoy the wonders of the season than to visit a state park? Santa rides in on a four-wheeler as we visit Rough River Dam State Resort Park for its Winter Wonderland celebration.

Dave talks with the Parks Commissioner Gerry van der Meer as well as several Rough River employees about what makes our state parks the best in the nation—from the food to the hospitality to the beauty of nature.

The resort park at Falls of Rough in Grayson County is just one of many state parks decking the halls with garland and lights this Yuletide season, and the fun continues with New Year’s Eve parties, dinners, and dances on Dec. 31. Happy holidays!

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1599: Kentucky’s National Parks: A Kentucky Life Special

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