5th annual Grand Illumination returns to New Kent this weekend

aluck@tidewaterreview.com

The holiday spirit is coming to New Kent this weekend and all are welcome to get festive.

The fifth annual New Kent Grand Illumination by New Kent Parks and Recreation will light up the county Sunday.

The event includes the illumination of the courthouse area, Santa Claus, children’s activities, Christmas carols, crafts, food vendors, pony rides and hot chocolate, cider and coffee, according to New Kent Parks and Recreation director Kimberly Turner.

There also will be local entertainment and music, a silent auction, a Christmas craft exhibit and the return of the festive Jingle Bell jog.

There is no entry fee, although some activites will have and extra price, such as a photo with Santa Claus and vendor items.

Residents can enter a craft exhibit in one or all of the categories: door decoration, holiday tree ornament, table decoration, Christmas cookies (a plate of six cookies can be the same or a variety), table runner or placemat, Christmas clothes – any article/means and Christmas cards.

Residents can register at for the craft exhibition, and pre-registration is not required. Entries can be entered at the courthouse beginning at noon and ending at 2:30 p.m. All entries must be present by 2 p.m. and picked up by 6 p.m., according to Turner.

The crafts will be judged and winners from the adult and youth division will be awarded ribbons. All entries must have been completed after Nov. 26, 2017.

All ages can enter the Jingle Bell jog; children younger than 12 must be supervised by an adult. Participants can choose between the family fun jog and walk (1 mile) for a $12 fee or the 3 kilometer jog and walk for $15.

T-shirts and ribbons are included in the jog entry costs. Check in is at 2:30 p.m. and the jog begins at 3:30 p.m. at the courthouse and school area.

Limited registration is available at the event at 2:30 p.m.

Turner said the event draws the community together to share the spirit of the holidays through fellowship and fun every year.

“Each year we add something different,” Turner said. “This year we have a new silent auction, improved Christmas craft exhibits, an expanded vendor market and outdoor entertainment area.”

County administrator Rodney Hathaway said he looks forward to kicking off the holiday season with the community at the event.

The event is from 3-6 p.m. at the historic courthouse and school area off of New Kent Highway, 12003 New Kent Highway.

Registration for the craft exhibit, Jingle Bell jog and more information can be found on the county website. Visit co.new-kent.va.us, click on your government, department, Parks and Recreation and then Grand Illumination.

Look for announcements and the reveal of silent auction items on the county parks and recreation Facebook page “New Kent Parks and Recreation.”

Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, aluck@tidewaterreview.com or @ashleyrluck on Twitter

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