Four Open House Days, Three Tree Lightings, Two Theater Weekends and a Parade Marching Right Through Downtown


Plan a small-town holiday getaway shining with Christmas spirit


SHELBYKY – OCTOBER 2018 –Shelbyville, Simpsonville and Shelby County, KY are flipping the switch on the holidays, lighting them up with thousands of twinkling lights, dozens of decorated Christmas trees, a classic Christmas show sure to bring smiles to everyone in the family and a jolly hometown parade. Plan a midweek or weekend getaway to take part in the joy and charm of a small-town Christmas. Visit www.VisitShelbyKY.comand click on the Calendar of Eventsto see all the holiday happenings.

You better watch out! You better not cry!

Join the holiday festivities at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, for a Tree Lighting Ceremony. Santa Claus will make a special appearance to help light the Christmas tree, take gift requests from kids and pose for impromptu photographs with families. The first 200 children to arrive will receive a special holiday goodie bag.

Wear your shopping shoes and pack your gift-giving list: Kentucky’s only designer outlet mall has more than 90 upscale stores, including Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candle Outlet, Bose, Fossil and Tory Burch. Need a pick-me-up? Bite into Christmas cookies from Great American Cookies or peppermint bark from Ghirardelli. Sit down and check your list twice over dinner at Johnny Rockets.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, head downtown for Shelbyville’s Celebration of Lights, a free annual holiday tradition held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Main Street (between Seventh and Fourth Streets). Get immersed in holiday activities, including the lighting of Shelbyville’s Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m., plus live performances, music, crafts, food, shopping and more. Father Christmas will be in attendance, handing out candy to all.

Simpsonville gets into the holiday spirit on Saturday, Nov. 17, with Light Up Simpsonville. This free event invites merrymakers to join city staff and elected officials in Wiche Park for the countdown to lighting up the town and officially ushering in the holiday season. The fun and festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and includes a free chili supper, dessert, hot chocolate and entertainment. Santa Claus will be dropping by to greet everyone and pose for photo.

O Christmas tree!

Wakefield-Scearce Gallerieswelcomes the Christmas shopping season beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 7, with Open Houses each day through Saturday, Nov. 10. Featuring more than a dozen professionally decorated, uniquely themed trees – from the North Pole Express tree trimmed with trains, polar bears, igloos and penguins to the Special Delivery tree with its airplane topper and Santa dropping mail bags full of gifts – the event showcases nearly 30 rooms in this distinctive gallery. Not only that, each of the rooms will be lavishly decorated, including one called Dreams of Saint Nicholas that features Santa snoozing and snoring in a canopy bed and surrounded by a collection of Santa Claus figures.

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Several groups are scheduled to perform in the courtyard during the Open Houses, including dulcimer performers and area school choruses. Expect floor to ceiling Christmas and be ready to shop till you drop. Holiday hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Shoppers who wish to lunch on fine Kentucky fare while there should make reservations as early as possible at Science Hill Inn: 502-512-3663. Lunch is served 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. Lunch is buffet style on Sundays.

Here come the Herdmans

They smoke, cuss, drink jug wine and shoplift – and they only turn up at church for the snacks. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” based on the 1971 book by Barbara Robinson, brings Imogen, Claude, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie and Gladys to the award-winning Shelby County Community Theatreto set the church on its collective ear. Performances take place over two weekends: Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 29-Dec. 2 and Dec. 6-9.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets: $15/adults; $12/seniors; $10/students and children. Tickets go on sale two weeks before opening night. Reservations: online at www.ShelbyTheatre.orgor 502-633-0242.

Old-fashioned downtown parade

You’ll know Santa Claus is heading this way when the Shelby County Christmas Parade takes to the streets 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Sponsored by the Shelby County Fire & Rescue Department, this hometown parade features a variety of entertainment for everyone in the family and a special appearance by the Big Guy!

Click herefor more information about these events, as well as Shelby County accommodations, local restaurants and holiday events and activities.



Katie Fussenegger, CTA, CTIS, TMP,, 502-633-6388

Executive Director of the ShelbyKY Tourism Commission & Visitors Bureau,



Spend the holidays enjoying small-town Christmas fun in Shelby County, KY.

Photo: ShelbyKY Tourism Commission & Visitors Bureau


HI- and LOW-RES photos available.

ABOUT SHELBYKY│ShelbyKY is all about the Stables, Tables & Designer Labels. The communities of Shelbyville, Simpsonville and Shelby County form the American Saddlebred Capital of the World. Home to 90-plus Saddlebred horse farms and breeding and training facilities, ShelbyKY gives visitors a rare peek into the world of the captivating Saddlebred show horse. ShelbyKY’s dining landscape includes culinary icons Science Hill Inn, Claudia Sanders Dinner House and Bell House Restaurant and nearly two dozen other locally-owned dining venues. It is home to The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass, Kentucky’s only designer outlet mall, and the interior design, antique, home accessory and furniture shops comprising “Design Destination.” Attractions include Jeptha Creed Distillery; Talon Winery; the Shelby County Community Theatre; and lots of outdoor adventure – water sports (fishing, canoeing, paddle boating), horseback riding, golf and fall-fun pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Simpsonville’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Birthplace is on the new U.S. Civil Rights Trail. Overnight choices include brand name chain hotels, group lodgings, bed and breakfast inns and downtown lofts. Accolades: No. 1 “Best Town to Raise a Family in Kentucky” and among the best places in the U.S. to live and work (; one of the 10 safest places in Kentucky and one of America’s most caring cities (