By Heather Wood
With the 2017 holiday season on our doorstep, things have begun to hum a little louder in Kernersville’s historic downtown.
As November rounds out into December, it is the perfect time to reflect and pause in celebration of the season. In Kernersville, the surrounding businesses and associations create spaces for reflection and gratitude with all things festive and fun at the annual Downtown Holiday events. You can already see a glimpse of the season and a lift in your spirits that is sure to make it merry and bright. From charming carriage rides and historic downtown shopping experiences, to holiday performances, caroling and more—Kernersville sets the stage for a magical experience.
In Kernersville our holiday event line-up is just as long as Santa’s list! The holiday officially begins the last weekend in November. Spend a day shopping in Downtown Kernersville and shop the “Christmas Around the World” Holiday Open House November 24 from 3-7 p.m. Stroll down to Harmon Park to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree on December 2 at 7 p.m. Then come back to downtown the next day on Sunday, December 3, for the Kernersville Christmas parade that many families enjoy! You may even catch a glimpse of Santa throughout the weekend and have a chance to share something special you are hoping for on Christmas Day.
The Pierce family started the tradition of gathering to see the spruce tree lit up in Harmon Park back in the 1970’s. This event has marked the start of the holiday season ever since. Some of those attending on Saturday, December 2 have been going for years. Others are now starting new traditions with their children.
The annual tree lighting is something instilled in the people of Kernersville and something they look forward to each year. The event involves hot cocoa and donuts, provided by Pierce Jefferson Funeral home, along with local choir groups who sing Christmas and holiday music—and even a visit from Santa himself as he counts down the lighting of the tree.
Continuing in the spirit of giving, Kernersville Parks and Recreation (KPRD) was awarded an early Christmas gift last month at the Annual Best of the Best ceremony, during the National Recreation and Park Association’s Conference in New Orleans.
KPRD is an Accredited Agency, with renewal every five years. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) recognizes park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. Agency accreditation is available to all entities administering park and recreation systems, including municipalities, townships, counties, special districts and regional authorities, councils of government, schools and military installations. We want to take a moment to congratulate Kernersville Parks and Recreation Department for achieving this great accomplishment. As mentioned in last month’s Board of Alderman ceremony, none of this would have been made possible without the dedication of the parks staff and their hard work.
The KPRD is an integral part of the community. The department’s services increase the citizen’s quality of life as well as promote tourism into Kernersville. A staff of 15 full-time and 20 part-time employees manage eight town-owned parks, three joint-use facilities, two buildings, welcome signs, common green spaces and landmarks. The department provides passive, active and cultural opportunities.
Kernersville Parks and Recreation would also like to welcome two new staff members, Cady Ray and John Knight. Cady Ray has taken on the position as the Recreation Program Supervisor. Cady previously worked with the Minor League Baseball team, The Hickory Crawdads as the Promotions and Community Relations Director. Cady graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and grew up in Wallburg, NC. She is excited to be back in her hometown and joining the Kernersville Parks and Recreation staff to bring more exciting events to our area. John Knight has taken the position as the Turf Maintenance Specialist with the Town, which is a new position within the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Division. John’s main duties will be to oversee the athletic fields and to bring them to tournament standards. John’s previous work experiences include maintaining golf courses and working with the City of High Point Parks and Recreation Department.
We also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone in our community that continues to support our department. Kernersville Parks and Recreation strives to improve the quality of life and safety for our citizens and employees by offering diverse quality programs, activities, parks and Town facilities, while also protecting the environment.