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The small town of White Mills on Sunday night kicked off the Christmas season on the banks of the Nolin River with a bridge lighting, parade and chili supper.
“The kids have a blast every time they come down here,” said area resident Nancy Linder, who watched the parade with her grandchildren. She also gets to see people she hasn’t seen in a while.
“It’s a good time,” said Tim Dennis, a Civic League organizer.
The White Mills Fire Department started the bridge lighting two decades ago and the event has grown over the years.
The 111-year-old span – one of the few surviving ones in Kentucky made of iron – will stay lit through next month.
“The bridge is kind of our centerpiece of the community,” Dennis said.
The focus of Sunday night’s action was at White Mills Christian Camp, which is a former resort. After the parade – which included floats, a horse-drawn buggy and an armored car playing a Christmas song – event goers lined up for a chili dinner. They ate to dulcimer music in a large dining room decked with wreaths, a large Christmas tree and seasonal centerpieces.
The dinner raised money for Lakewood Elementary School’s Resource Center. Cooked in metal kettles, the chili required 75 pounds of ground beef and three big bottles of chili powder, said Lewis Graham, who helped prepare the meal for about 300 people.
“It’s wonderful,” he said.
A reception with Santa followed the bridge lighting.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.