Whitesburg KY

‘Christmas on the Creek’

A Carcassonne- style square dance, Christmas stories and an appearance by Santa Claus are planned for a holiday event at the Cowan Community Center. “Christmas on the Creek” will also include dinner and a silent auction.

The event is being organized by the Cowan Community Action Group and Letcher County Central High School juniors Cassidy Breeding, Kennedy Breeding and Abby Frazier.

With assistance from the Breeding twins’ father, Dr. Van Breeding, the teenagers planned a health fair, dinner and square dance at the Carcassonne Community Center in August. Because attendance at the monthly square dance had dwindled, the Breedings and Frazier wanted to promote the center in a way to encourage more people to attend events there.

Nearly 400 people attended the August Carcassonne square dance, including members of the Cowan Community Action Group, who asked the teenagers to help plan a similar event at the Cowan Community Center.

Dr. Breeding said attendance has been up at the Carcassonne square dances in September, October and November.

“They are doing fantastic now,” said Dr. Breeding.

For the past three months, members of the Cowan Community Action Council, the teenagers and others have been planning for the Cowan event.

“Christmas on the Creek” will begin at 5 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Cowan Community Center.

“It will be more like an old-fashioned Christmas on Cowan,” said Dr. Breeding. “It’s to bring people from the community in and people from outside in to learn more about things we have going on that they might not be aware of because people had forgotten about the Carcassonne square dance.”

Vendors will be selling crafts and other items. A quilt made by the Cowan Homemakers, University of Kentucky men’s basketball tickets and a painting by Cowan resident Dorothy Miles will be featured at a silent auction.

“ Christmas on the Creek” T-shirts will be sold. Cost is $10 each.

The event will also include a cakewalk for adults and a cupcake walk for children.

A health fair will be set up with free health-related items from Appalachian Regional Hospital, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation and University of Kentucky HealthCare.

Information booths will promote Grow Appalachia, the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School and other programs affiliated with the Cowan Community Center.

A holiday dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Participants of the Cowan Community Storytelling Project will tell favorite Christmas memories at 7 p.m.

“They will be reliving the old Christmases of the past,” said Dr. Breeding.

Then the Lee Sexton Band and Cowan Creek Mountain Music School will play music for the Carcassonne square dance. Erin Cokonougher-Stidham will call the square dance.

After arriving in a horsedrawn carriage around 9 p.m., Santa Claus will hand out treats to children.

In addition to parking at the community center, shuttles will transport people who park at Cowan Elementary School to the community center. Shuttles will run until the event ends.

“Christmas on the Creek” admission cost is $5 for ages 13 and older. Twelve and younger will be admitted free of charge. All proceeds from the event will benefi t the Cowan Community Center.

The Carcassonne Community Center is donating the cost of the square dance. Other event sponsors are the UK Gill Heart Institute, Appalachian Regional Hospital, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, Pepsi, Appalshop, Wendy’s, Applebee’s and Hampton Inn.

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