By Natalie Knudsen, Chamber of Commerce

The Three Days of Christmas are here – along with our first cold snap of the season! But we have plenty of warning so bundle up and enjoy all the great events happening in Hartsville this week. It really didn’t feel like Christmas at 65 degrees, anyway.

Our first event, The Candlelight Tour of Homes, is being held on Thursday evening, Dec. 7. Three homes will be on the tour, including the historic Dixona, in which presidents and princes have laid their heads over the past 200 years.

We’ll meet at the Community Center at 5 p.m. for light refreshments and the buses will leave promptly at 5:30 p.m. The FCE club sponsors this fundraising event, with all proceeds being used for scholarships to assist local youth in attending 4-H camps this summer. Dixona is not handicap accessible. Tickets are available in advance for $12 at Wilson Bank & Trust, Citizens Bank and the UT Extension office, or $15 at the door.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

Friday’s events include the Chili Supper and Youth Concert fundraiser for the Backpack program.

The Chili Supper begins at 5 p.m. in the Community Center, with the Youth Concert and Jack McCall’s presentation of “The Night Before Christmas” to follow in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse. All proceeds go to fund the Backpack Program, which provides food for vulnerable youth in our community. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family.

Immediately following the concert at the courthouse, we’re inviting everyone to join us in singing carols on the courthouse steps as we officially light the community’s Christmas Tree.

“Dickens on the Square” events kick off early on Saturday, Dec. 9, with the annual men’s Country Ham Breakfast at the Hartsville United Methodist Church on River Street. Serving runs from 7-10 a.m. The United Methodist women will also be holding a bazaar and bake sale in conjunction with the breakfast.

Breakfast with Santa also begins at 7 a.m. in the downstairs courtroom at the courthouse. Bring the kids for a FREE breakfast and a chance to meet and talk with Mr. and Mrs. Santa and photos. Amanda Carman graciously loads the photos on Facebook so you can share free of charge.

The annual Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Hartsville-Trousdale Chamber of Commerce, steps off at 10 a.m. on Saturday. If you or your group would like to be judged for one of 12 trophies, please be in line by 9 a.m. as we are prejudging the parade; otherwise lineup is at 9:30 a.m.

Please see the Vidette or its Facebook page for the parade lineup. The entry fee for the parade is a new, unwrapped child’s toy for Christmas For Kids, and the toys will be picked up as parade entries pass in front of the courthouse. A big “Thank You” to Rachael Petty, who handles all the entries and lineup for the parade! Your parade announcer will be Regina Waller, who always does a great job.

Immediately following the parade, “Dickens on the Square” begins with events in and around the courthouse and Community Center. There will be old-fashioned kids games, free hot chocolate, a cake walk sponsored by the Rotary Club, a magician performing on the courthouse steps, caroling and costumed characters outdoors.

Indoors at the Community Center, we will have FREE face painting and cookie decorating for the youth. Our wonderful collection of unique local vendors will also be in the Community Center. Stop in, warm up and finish – or if you’re like me, start – your Christmas shopping! You can shop for handmade jewelry, great food, clothing, cookware and oils, and also watch pottery being made.

PigPen Barbeque will be there with a delicious food offering – including chili!

The afternoon wraps up at 2 pm with Jack McCall’s presentation of “A Christmas Carol” in the upstairs room of the courthouse. This is truly something you must see this holiday season!

So bundle up in layers, run to the Co-op for your hand and foot warmers, and spend the Three Days of Christmas in Hartsville.