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Independence Christmas Walk this Saturday December 4th 2010

INDEPENDENCE – The city of Independence and the Independence Business Association are hosting one of the area’s largest and most historic holiday activities with Saturday night’s 14th annual Christmas Walk. This event will be Saturday December 4th 2010 from 6pm to 9pm with the tree lighting ceremonies starting at 5:45pm Saturday evening.
This year, events will extend from the city’s Courthouse Square to the Independence municipal complex about a half mile south on Ky. 17. There are 25 venues, or stops, with dozens of holiday activities and displays connecting the city’s historic downtown with the area in and around the city building, organizers say.
There are so many activities that this year’s Christmas Walk is an hour longer, said Nita Brake, the city’s parks and recreation director. And for the first time in four years, the holiday-themed event will once again include the Courthouse Square area.
“Now that new (Ky.) 17 is done, that’s relieved the traffic on old (Ky.) 17, so the police chief feels more comfortable letting us have the Christmas Walk (near the courthouse) again,” said businessman Doug Garner, one of the organizers. “Bringing it back to its original location will get people involved in the history of the Courthouse Square area. It’ll have that old-time Christmas feel.”
Four years ago, organizers tried to get a reindeer for the festivities, but they were prohibited by state regulations from bringing an Ohio caribou into Kentucky, Brake said. As a substitute, they got a camel, and it quickly became one of the Christmas Walk’s most popular features.
“The camel has always been a big hit,” Brake said. “It’s amazing how many adults and children come just to ride the camel (at the senior citizen parking lot). “The line for the free camel rides is always long.”
If a camel isn’t your style, there are also pony rides for youngsters, and participants can check out a live Nativity scene and petting zoo at the Masonic lodge next to the city building, as well as a Nativity scene at a church across from the county courthouse in Independence.
Celebrants also can tour the city’s only house on the historic register, ride in a hayride wagon between Independence Christian and St. Cecilia churches, check out a model railroad display at the Century 21 building, hear a bluegrass band play at Swindler & Currin Funeral Home, and hear the Simon Kenton High School girls chorus and the Carter’s Chapel United Methodist Church hand bell choir perform at Grace Baptist Church.
Eighteen participating businesses and other venues will be lined with luminaries, and the public can sign an American Red Cross holiday card for troops serving overseas. Celebrants 18 and older who visit 15 of the 25 venues and get their card stamped also can enter a drawing for a chance to win a laptop computer from the Independence Business Association. News article provided by Cindy Schroeder at nky.com.

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