The Highland County Chamber of Commerce Announces Wintertide Events


I’m here with Karen Sweeney. She’s the Events Coordinator for the Highland County Chamber of Commerce. Hi, Karen.


You’re here to talk about Wintertide. Can you tell us what Wintertide is?

Yes, Wintertide is the event here in Highland County that starts the holiday season. It helps to bring the community together.

And you do that with a number of events, don’t you?

That is correct.

So, what’s going on this year?

We start on Friday at seven o’clock with Highland County Community Chorus performing at Beulah Presbyterian Church. Then, on Saturday the seventh at eight o’clock, there’ll be breakfast with Santa. At nine, from nine to three, there will be a winter vendors market at the Highland Center. At 10 o’clock, the Highland Children’s House will have free activities as well as an open house. At eleven, Santa will then be at the Highland Center where you can get hot chocolate and candy canes and cookies and each family will be provided with one free photo with Santa. Then, at one o’clock, there’s going to be a craft-making activity for all ages with the Highland County Recreation Commission. At two, the Highland County Community Orchestra will be playing Christmas carols at the Highland Center. And at six o’clock will be the tree lighting ceremony along with the new event, the campfire night.

Now this tree lighting ceremony, that’s sort of the capstone event for all of Wintertide, isn’t it? Isn’t that when everybody comes out to the courthouse lawn, lights the tree and there’s a lot of stuff going on?

Kind of a climax of things.

It really is. And so this year, you mentioned the campfire is near the rec commission. The Highland county recreation commission is putting that on?

That is correct. The rec commission has done a couple campfire nights throughout the past couple years and we’ve decided to do a campfire night on the courthouse lawn during the tree lighting ceremony.

So I already know the answer to this question, but what’s special about the campfire this year?

Well, you’re able to warm yourself up but there’s, just like with every campfire, you want a good s’more and the recreation commission will be providing s’mores.

And right next to the campfire will be . . . ?

Will be hot chocolate from the Allegheny Mountain Radio.

There you go.

And also, Alice Shumate will be leading sing-alongs around the campfire. And the Maple Court will be reading “A Christmas Story.” Oh, and also, at the tree lighting event we’ll be announcing the winners to the different lighting contests. The Monterey town council will be announcing the winner to the window display contest. Highland Recreation Commission will be announcing the winner for the residential lighting display contest and the Highland County Chamber will be announcing the winner for the chamber business lightning contest.

So there’s a lot going on there this year. And almost as soon as that’s over, what happens at seven?

At seven o’clock, you’ll head down to the Monterey Methodist Church where the Highland County Community Chorus will be performing there as well. And as you’re waiting or as you’re done, you can walk around and look at the gingerbread houses the Girl Scouts have created.

You mentioned the community chorus. They’ve got a third performance, don’t they, this weekend?

It’ll be on Sunday, December 8 at three o’clock at the McDowell Presbyterian Church.

The times and locations for all of these events are on the chamber web site, correct?

That is correct. You can go to to find more information.

Wintertide is a Chamber of Commerce event, isn’t it?

Yes, it is. It’s an event that has been going on for 31 years. And the only way to make that event possible for 31 years is with the support of all the Chamber members.

Members of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce have pulled together each year for 31 years now to kick off the holiday season for area residents. Make plans to take advantage of this festival’s offerings next week on December 6th and 7th.

This is Mickey Frank Thomas for Allegheny Mountain Radio.

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Mickey Frank Thomas

Mickey Frank began his radio career in October 2017 when he was offered the impossible-to-fill 9:00 p.m. to midnight slot on Saturdays, where his coordinated mix of pop, soft rock and R&B from the 60s through the 80s met with little acclaim. Deciding that he needed a more awake audience, he added the 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. afternoon drive slot to his workload when it became available in December 2018. Originally from Morton, Illinois, good, old Mickey Frank has lived in more places than he can count on his fingers and toes, but now resides in Highland County.  Email Mickey Frank at

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