Veterans Referral Center to host second Holly Jolly Christmas Market and pageant

Whoville characters pose with Santa & Mrs. Claus during last year’s Holly Jolly Christmas Market hosted by the Veterans Referral Center of Paintsville. This year’s event will be held on Nov. 30 at the Paintsville Recreation Center.

The second Holly Jolly Christmas Market will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 from at the Paintsville Recreation Center. The event, hosted by the Veterans Referral Center of Paintsville, will include an Old Fashion Christmas Beauty Pageant, train rides on the “Polar Express” for kids, an Ugly Sweater Contest, face painting, concessions, gift wrapping, visits with Santa and other holiday characters and an opportunity to shop with more than 35 vendors.

The Old Fashion Christmas Pageant requires participants to dress in “Christmas Wear”, either off the rack or custom made, and age appropriate makeup (no glitz). Participants will be sorted into age groups of 0-11 months, 12-23 months, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years, 13-15 years and 16 years or older. There is an entry fee of $25 prior to the event or $30 on the day of. Judges will name 8 “Queen” winners and one “Supreme” winner. Registration will begin at noon and the pageant will kick off at 1 p.m.

Stephanie Elfriede, of the Veterans Referral Center said of the event, “We held our first Vendor Market last year and it went much better than expected. We started the Christmas Market to provide an opportunity for the community to come together and spread the Christmas spirit. It wasn’t as much of a fundraiser. Rather, (it was an opportunity for) our Veterans Referral Center to get involved with the community. This year we had an overwhelming response of vendors. We booked out of vendor space almost a month ahead of time.”

According to Elfriede, this year’s event has become an opportunity to raise money for the VRF.

“We wanted to do something to have fun and do it for the community. Now it has turned into a fundraiser.”

She said. “We are excited that our Christmas cheer idea turned into a really good fundraiser for our Veterans Referral Center and its programs, thanks to our community. Our veteran’s programs have been active for almost three years and we have been truly blessed with amazing support from our community and individuals all over the state and nation.

“Our Veteran’s programs include free painting classes and PTSD training. (The event) also supports programs for Veterans lead by the American Legion Youth Group,” she said. “This market is the perfect example of paying it forward.”

For more information on the event, check on the Veterans Referral Center on Facebook at, https://facebook.com/veteransreferralcenter/.

For more information on the Old Fashion Christmas Pageant, contact Chasity at, 872-3117 or Nikki at, 939-0043.

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