Department of Parks
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park Holds Holiday Party For Children
MOUNT OLIVET, Ky. – People were seeing red during the lunch hour at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park this week.
But none appeared to be too upset – especially the school children visiting the park’s restaurant for their annual holiday parties and a visit with Santa Claus. All of them donned a red hat as they walked into the restaurant.
For the last several years, the park near Mount Olivet has hosted classes for the holidays. The children get to eat, hear a story, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and receive some treats. Classes from schools in Robertson, Nicholas and Fleming counties attended this year. About 170 children visited on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
“A lot of these kids don’t get an opportunity like this,” said Carol Mitchell, the librarian for Robertson County who helps organize the event. “It’s something they’ll never forget.”
The “Christmas for Kids” celebration is put on by the park staff and local businesses and organizations who donate money and other items for the event. Park employees pitch in to serve food, wrap and hand out gifts and make sure everyone gets a picture with Santa.
Kimball Booth, a retiree from Carlisle, and Joetta King, the park’s retired business manager from Brooksville, have played Santa and Mrs. Claus for the last several years. Both said they get as much out of it as the kids.
“Playing Santa Claus has made me a better person,” said Booth. “I love it.”
Park Manager Stefanie Gaither began working at the park this year and was impressed with how everyone pitched in to help.
“The park receives much local support and the employees felt it was important to give back. They wanted to do something positive,” Gaither said. “This has become a tradition at Blue Licks and is an event that we all look forward to each holiday season.”
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov