On Friday, Natural Tunnel State Park will kick off its annual Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel, which is visited by thousands of people each year. The 850-foot tunnel will be glowing with lights, and families can enjoy numerous special activities.
What to expect
Christmas night lightings will be held every Friday and Saturday from 6-10 p.m., and parking is $5 per vehicle. For those who want to take the optional chairlift ride, a roundtrip ticket is $4 per person, and a one-way ticket is $3 per person. The Tunnel Trail — a half-mile roundtrip — will be lit up the entire way.
Live music, hot chocolate, a campfire and Santa Claus are some of the things guests can look forward to. Visitors can also stop by one of Scott County’s oldest buildings, the Carter Cabin, where re-enactors in period dress will be telling stories of the past.
Give a Friend a Lift night
This Friday from 6-10 p.m., those who bring two nonperishable food items per person will receive a free chairlift ride. All collected food will go to food banks in the community. Last year, the park collected more than 2,000 items.
From Dec. 17-22, the park will host night lightings through the week with an added theme. The themes are as follows: Dec. 17: pet night; Dec. 18: children’s crafts; Dec. 19: Christmas karaoke; Dec. 20: decorate a cookie night; Dec. 21: ugly sweater night; Dec. 22: Santa with special guest, Ranger Parker Red Fox.
Several other Christmas events will be held in Scott County in the coming weeks.
10 a.m. to noon — Wreath Workshop: Held at Natural Tunnel, this event will teach participants how to make natural holiday wreaths using fresh greenery and other materials inspired by Mother Nature. The $15 registration fee per wreath includes step-by-step instructions, a wreath frame and greenery. Space is limited, and preregistration is required. Make reservations by Nov. 28 by calling (276) 452-2772.
7 p.m. — Gate City Christmas Parade: Floats, marching bands and others will march down Kane and Jackson streets celebrating the season and enjoying community fellowship. For more information, call (276) 386-3831.
3 p.m. — Nickelsville Christmas Parade: The parade will wind through downtown. For more information, call the town at (276) 479-2569.
7:30 p.m. — Carter Family Fold Christmas Show: Musicians donate their time, and audience members bring a potluck dish for all to enjoy. The Carter Family Cabin will be decked in old-time Christmas decorations, and admission is one canned food item.