Rainfall caused the postponement of the annual chili supper, parade and bridge lighting Sunday evening in White Mills but the town persisted and held events Wednesday night, minus the parade.
“We had way too much rain and it flooded the Nolin River so we had no access to get into this place,” said Tim Dennis, White Mills, Christian Church pastor. “Unfortunately that caused everything to have to be shut down.”
In the 30 years the community has been having the event, Dennis said it’s the first time they’ve ever had to postpone because of flooding.
White Mills sits along the Nolin River and the weekend rain caused the river to spill over its banks and flood Old Kentucky 84 leading to the bridge and White Mills Christian Camp.
Dennis said it was decided to go ahead and reschedule the event instead of canceling because proceeds from the chili supper go to Lakewood Elementary School’s Family Resource Center. He wanted to get the money to the director as soon as possible so she could use it to help kids at Christmas.
“Thankfully everyone seems to be coming out and enjoying the chili,” Dennis said.
Amber Holland, of Eastview, planned to bring her family out to Sunday night’s event and was glad they decided to reschedule it.
“It supports my daughter’s school and I’m glad they had it,” she said. “It’s good for the resource center.”
It was her first time attending the yearly Christmas event and she said it was nice to see the decorative lights.
“It’s a nice night for it,” she said.
The dining hall in the old hotel that is a part of the camp was filled for the chili supper. Later everyone ventured outside to see the lighting of the bridge.
Carolers sang a few Christmas songs before Dennis said a prayer and then started the countdown for the bridge lighting. After the countdown White Mills firefighters turned on the lights.
As the lights came on, Santa was revealed at the entrance to the bridge. Children rushed forward in awe to take photos with him.
“It’s special, it’s our community’s celebration of the Christmas season,” Dennis said. “It’s our announcement that it’s open.”
Dennis said it makes the holidays extra special when driving down by the river to see the bridge and other displays lit up during December.