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Natural Tunnel to kick off Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel Friday

Holly Viers • Nov 23, 2018 at 12:00 PM

DUFFIELD — It’s almost time for one of Scott County’s most beloved holiday traditions.

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.

Theme nights

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.

Other events

Several other Christmas events will be held in Scott County in the coming weeks.

Dec. 1

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.

Dec. 2

3 p.m. — Nickelsville Christmas Parade: The parade will wind through downtown. For more information, call the town at (276) 479-2569.

Dec. 15

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.

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