Giving the gift of local holiday entertainment

ANDREW CRITCHELOW/The News-Enterprise Members of the Hardin County Playhouse sing Christmas carols at the Elizabethtown Light Up Downtown event.

Sometimes the best gift you can give for the holidays is not an item but an experience. Fortunately, there are plenty of entertaining experiences to be had in Hardin County during the holiday season.

Kicking off with a radio drama version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” held Nov. 2, the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center has plenty of holiday shows on its calender. On Dec. 1, local singer-songwriter Glen Rice and a rotating cast of regional musicians perform holiday classics during the annual Glen Rice Family and Friends Concert Series Christmas Concert. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

The PAC also is hosting an annual Heart of Kentucky Men’s Chorus Christmas Concert on Dec. 7, featuring acapella versions of holiday standards performed by the Elizabethtown-based chorus. Tickets for this event are $10 and proceeds benefit Helping Hand of Hope.

Now in its 42nd year, more than 200 amateur and professional dancers from The Dance Centre of Elizabethtown are performing in the youth organization’s annual production of “The Nutcracker.” The PAC is the venue of the show, which takes place Dec. 20-22. Tickets range from $9 to $29.

The Hardin County Play­house is taking a goofy approach to holiday cheer this year as they present their production of the musical comedy “Nun­­crackers: The Nunsense Christ­­­mas Musical.” The show takes place Dec. 6-8 and 12-15 at Elizabethtown Com­­­munity and Technical Coll­ege’s Science Auditorium and tickets are $15.

Holiday film classics also are locally screened through The State Theater in Elizabethtown. The theater is showing the 2004 adventure film “The Polar Express” Nov. 30 and the 1989 comedy “Christmas Vacation” Dec. 14. Tickets for both screenings are $1.

For a mobile holiday experience, Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown is the site of the annual Christmas in the Park event. Running each night through Jan. 1, the event gives attendees the opportunity to witness more than 100 holiday lights displays from the comfort of their car. Admission is free and open to the public.

If all of this isn’t enough, local community festivals are abundant during the holiday season. From Light Up Down­town in Elizabethtown to Dickens of a Christmas in Vine Grove to the Christmas Tree Lighting event in Radcliff to Christmas in the Country in Glendale to Christmas in Cecilia, there are plenty of opportunities to get in the holiday spirit in Hardin County.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or

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