Community Christmas activities set for weekend

Thanksgiving is over, the season’s first snowfall has occurred, and that means Christmas is just around the corner with several activities scheduled in Bell County to please old and young alike.

This weekend, you can kick off the winter by ice skating in downtown Pineville.

According to the Bell County Tourism Facebook page, synthetic ice skating will be available at the corner of Kentucky Avenue in Pineville from Dec. 4 – Dec. 6. There are some additional safety measures in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include participants must wear a mask, capacity has been reduced by 50 percent and sanitizer stations will be available at the site. Multiple time slots are available, and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5 per person for a 30-minute skate rental.

The event is sponsored by the city of Pineville and Main Street Pineville. For more information, go to the Bell County Tourism Facebook page.

Also happening in Pineville is an appearance by Santa Claus. According to the Main Street Pineville Facebook page, Santa will be escorted through town by the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department from 5 -7 p.m. Saturday. Anybody living within the city limits of Pineville who wants to see Santa should come outside to their porch or yard. The route will include all streets in Wallsend, Newtown and downtown Pineville. For health and safety concerns, unfortunately, Santa will not be able to exit the fire truck for pictures. Social distancing is required. For more information, go to the Main Street Pineville Facebook page.

Also happening today, Sat. Dec. 5, just a short distance from Middlesboro the 38th annual Victorian Christmas takes place in Cumberland Gap, Tenn. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 511 Colwyn Avenue.

The Bell County Tourism Facebook page states this is a “unique child’s experience,” with visits from Father Christmas and Mother Christmas, both of whom will be available for conversation. The first 200 children in attendance will receive a stuffed animal, and the Cumberland Gap Artist Co-Op will be holding an open house, with refreshments and a door prize. At 5 p.m., a tree lighting complete with Christmas caroling will begin. Masks are required, and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Magic City Lights also begins Saturday in Middlesboro. The driving tour kicks off at 7 p.m. and will continue through Dec. 30.

According to Middlesboro Parks and Recreation Chairman Boone Bowling, the event is a driving tour of the city to view Christmas lights at participating houses and businesses.

For more information on these and other events, go to the Bell County, KY Tourism page on Facebook.