After the turkey and all the fixings get put away on Thanksgiving Day the Christmas celebrations begin in Cecilia and White Mills.

Cecilia will have its annual parade and community lighting Saturday and White Mills will light up the bridge and have a drive-through Bethlehem tour Sunday.

In Cecilia, the parade begins at Wilson Manufacturing. It lines up at 5 p.m. and rolls down Main Street at 5:30 p.m. past The Cecilian Bank.

At the bank, Sarah Bunnell, one of the organizers, said children who are younger than 12 can register to light the Christmas tree and win a silver dollar from the bank.

The tree lighting takes place after the parade, around 6 p.m.

“This annual event kicks off the Christmas season for our community,” Bunnell said. “It is an opportunity to visit and catch up with everyone and celebrate this special season.”

She said the event has something for everyone, including a visit from Santa.

The Cecilia Valley Choir, called Boomin’ Brunins, will lead in singing holiday songs and the honorary mayor that was chosen during Cecilia Days will light the caboose behind the banks.

This year’s mayor is Shelia Drane of the Cecilia Post Office.

At the end of the festivities, participants can take a short walk to the Cecilia Ruritan building for cookies, hot cocoa and a Santa visit, Bunnell said.

For more information about the parade, call Glen Harrington at 270-723-9508 and for other questions call Adam Bunnell at 270-748-2009.

In White Mills, the bridge lighting is a 30-year-old tradition started by the White Mills Fire Department, organizer Tim Dennis, said.

“For the last few decades it has meant the start of the Christmas season for our community as other lighting events are for towns and cities,” he said. “It is just extra special to see the lights throughout December with as dark as it gets so early now.”

Also this year is a drive through Bethlehem tour that features live people and animals that will display what happened during the nativity. This includes shepherds, wise men, donkeys, sheep and the holy family of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, he said.

Those going on the drive through tour can go to channel 102.1 on their radio to hear Christmas music along the way.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, there will be no in-house dining during the annual chili dinner, he said.

The bridge lights and other displays will be turned on before 6 p.m. for those who will be driving through the Bethlehem tour that is from 6-8 p.m., he said.

The tour begins at the front gate of the White Mills Christian Camp and continues around the perimeter of the camp until there’s a fork in the road, he said. Those wanting to purchase a carry-out chili or bean soup dinner will proceed one way and the other way will lead to the tour exit.

The dinner includes a bowl of chili or bean soup, peanut butter sandwich, bottled water and a dessert. It is $5 a person or $20 for a family of four or more.

The proceeds of the chili dinner will go to Lakewood Elementary School’s resource center. It is sponsored by the White Mills Civic League and the proceeds will be donated in memory of Billy Staples, a first-grade teacher at Lakewood who died last month.

For more information on the Christmas activities in White Mills, call Tim Dennis at 270-723-0841.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1416

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