Highland County Recreation Commission Offering Safe Unique Christmas Events


The Highland County Recreation Commission has several unique Christmas events coming up to help spread cheer during this difficult time.    One staple, though, is the annual Holiday Lights Contest.

Jessy Wilfong is Recreation Director of the Highland County Recreation Commission.

“This year we’ve switched it up a bit and since the Chamber is not doing the business side, we have invited any and everyone within Highland County,” says Wilfong.  “So, businesses, residents, organizations, everyone that wants to participate we highly encourage.  They can enter up until December 19 and the reason that we have that cutoff date is because the night of the 19th when we have our Christmas Lights Car Parade, we are going to have everyone vote that night.   We are offering different prizes this year.  This year we’re pushing more towards participation.  So, we will have a Community Choice Award will be $100, a Kids’ Choice Award will be $75 and a Participation, so everyone that participates will be entered to win the $50, and that will be picked at random.”

You need to enter by December 15th for the chance to win.  You can still enter up until the 19th, but you will not be eligible for prizes.

The Light Up the Night Christmas Car Parade is Saturday, December 19th.  It begins at 6pm at the Highland High School parking lot.  Decorated vehicles are encouraged, but not required.

“This is going to be a safe, socially distanced event where everyone is to remain inside of their vehicles at all times,” says Wilfong.  “We will meet up at the parking lot and if there are any decorated vehicles, we will have them go along the sidewalk of the parking lot and everyone else can park in the parking spots and we will have the decorated ones lead us.  We’re going to follow the Christmas light trail, so everyone that enters the Holiday Lights Contest is going to be put onto the guided tour and we will follow that.”

There is also a Polar Express activity for children to enjoy at home.

“We have partnered with the public library to offer the Virtual Ride on the Polar Express,” says Wilfong.  “We have created themed bags and the bags include hot cocoa, a golden ticket, a magical sleigh bell, a Polar Express ornament craft, a digital Polar Express book on Hoopla and a Polar Express DVD is available for checkout as well, if that is needed.”

And it’s not Christmas without baking cookies.

“So, we’re doing the virtual Holiday Cookie Recipe Exchange,” says Wilfong.  “It’s very simple.  We’re basically just doing it on Facebook and we’re asking that everyone share their favorite recipe.  One that they’ve either tried, something that’s been passed down throughout the family and then if there’s a story behind it, we’d love to hear that.  I’m going to compile all the recipes and make them available on our website as well as our Facebook.  It’ll be by Christmas Eve.  And then if anybody needs a printout they can request that and I’ll get that to them.”

For more information on these events or to arrange a Polar Express bag pick up, call 540-468-2978 or email  director@highlandcountyrecreation.org

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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