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It’s the Holiday Season Shop Local and Be Merry : Written by Patti Nickell

The capital city got a jump start on the holiday season with Candlelight Weekend, which was scheduled this year for November 10-12.

A festive atmosphere prevailed throughout downtown with carriage rides, carolers and open houses at many of the stores.  Even if you missed the celebration, you haven’t missed the great opportunities to shop for everyone on your Christmas list.

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Got an art or antiques lover in the family?  Old Capitol Antiques offers treasures from the past, while Capital Gallery of Contemporary Art, as its name suggests, has works from new and emerging artists.  Who knows – that piece of art under the tree may be from the next Jackson Pollack or Willem de Kooning.

Broadway Clay has a selection of pottery, or you can try your own hand at the wheel or purchase a membership for the creative in your life. De Spain Studios & Gallery has both traditional and abstract works as well as photography and mixed media, while Jessie’s Art Gallery offers a wide selection of frames for your newly acquired art purchases.

If you have a book lover on your shopping list, you’ll love browsing through the two-downtown independent bookstores.  Poor Richard’s, across from the Old Capitol Building, has been a Frankfort institution for more than 30 years, and Lilian Lindsey Book Store, located on the second floor of the Paul Sawyier Library, has discounts on both new and used tomes.

Poor Richard’s Books during opening night of Candlelight Weekend 2022

If jewelry is the only option, Classic Gold Master Jewelers LLC can customize a piece for that special someone.

On the other hand, if you’re on a budget this holiday season, hunt for quality merchandise without breaking the bank at New Leash on Life, Family Tree Consignment and Judy Lynn Home Again Consignment.  At these stores, you can decorate both your home and yourself in style for the holidays.

Records at New Leash on Life Thrift & Architectural Salvage

For Christmas cheer, shop Capitol Cellars Wine & Spirits Café Market; for those who want a little extra sparkle there’s Glitterati Treasures, and if you want the spirit of the commonwealth to surround you this season, where better to find it than Completely Kentucky?  In its restored 150-year-old building you can find offerings from more than 650 Kentucky artisans whose work ranges from arts & crafts to gourmet food.

Downtown you’ll also find Silo Ridge Makers Market which features over 30 Kentucky makers and their handmade products, guaranteeing products for any occasion or style.

Once the shopping is done, it’s time for some family fun. The Grand Theatre will be Christmas Central this Yuletide with a double bill of holiday film magic.

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First up is a showing of the perennial favorite “Miracle on 34th Street” (December 1-4).  In this Christmas classic, a kindly old man posing as Santa in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, charms an entire city, and convinces one little girl that he really does exist.

The Grand then segues from Kris Kringle to George Bailey, as what would Christmas be without director Frank Capra’s 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life?”  Whether it’s your first time seeing the film or your 50th, watch another angel get its wings at the December 21 showing.

It’s not just celluloid magic this Christmas at The Grand.  Live performances also bring splendor to the season.  Be back at The Grand December 22 for Ben Sollee’s Happy Holiday Hollerdays Show. 

Join Kentucky’s acclaimed cellist, as he, along with singer/songwriter Daniel Martin Moore, celebrates the season Appalachian style with a curated performance of music, dance and storytelling.

Another Christmas celebration you won’t want to miss is on November 20 when KET’s favorite Kentucky chef, brings “Tim Farmer’s Country Kitchen Music Show” to The Elizabeth, one of Frankfort’s most beautiful venues.

Accompanied by his wife and kitchen partner, Nicki, Farmer will be dishing out bowls of his famous chili, while some of his musical friends will add spice to the occasion.  Another plus will be an array of sweet treats whipped up by Beth Carter of B’s Bakery, who also owns The Elizabeth.  Start planning for this one now.

Neither will you want to miss the city’s annual Christmas Parade slated for December 10.  The parade will kick off at 6:00 p.m. and travel down Capitol Avenue, with this year’s theme being “Christmas in Toyland.”

The grand prize-winning float will make Christmas a little merrier for its favorite charity with a $1,000 donation.

Finally, the holiday season would not be nearly as festive without Buffalo Trace Distillery’s “Lighting of the Trace,” with its more than 100,000 lights across the distillery campus.

The event will include carols and cookies, Christmas storytelling and a visit by Santa.  It is free and open to the public.

Don’t be a Scrooge this Christmas – come and see all that Frankfort has to offer.