Christmas and holiday activities throughout Cherokee County and surrounding areas

by By Cristin Parker

Entities across Cherokee County are helping people get into the Christmas spirit this year with holiday events and activities for the whole family.

Area wide

Now through Dec. 14, Toys For Tots is accepting new, unwrapped toys for less fortunate girls and boys up to 13 years of age. Donate to collection boxes throughout local businesses in Alto, Chili's in Jacksonville and the Cherokeean Herald in Rusk. Chili's Bar & Grill in Jacksonville is holding a “Give Back Night” fundraiser for Toys For Tots campaign on Dec. 10.


The Whitehouse Chamber of Commerce presents its Dr. Seuss Christmas parade, 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Whitehouse. It will start at 110 by Goodwill; turn left onto Main St; and left onto Bascom; ending at Holloway Bus Lane. Christmas in the Park will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in conjunction with the parade.

Whitehouse First Baptist Church is sponsoring a drive-through Bethlehem, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Dec. 5-7 at the church, 801 E. Main St., Whitehouse.


The annual Rusk Christmas parade starts at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4, on the square in downtown Rusk. This year’s theme is a Hometown Christmas.

Friends of the Rusk Public Library and the Heritage Center of Cherokee County invite all to stop in at the museum to have milk, cookies and photos with Santa. Santa’s House will be open at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, after the Christmas parade; and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 15 and 22. Don’t forget to bring letters to Santa to drop into Santa’s mailbox.

Heather Beck and RHS Senior Finale are partnering to bring you Pictures with Santa. For $20 you will get a picture with the jolly guy from the North Pole and be helping out RHS Senior Finale! Photo ops will be available from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the Tree of Promise office, 125 E. Sixth St., Rusk.

The annual Miracle on Fifth Street is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 on Fifth Street in downtown Rusk. Santa Claus, arts and crafts booths, informational booths, games, turkey toss (win a FREE turkey), train rides, hay rides, bounce house, music, Ugly Christmas Sweater contest, Stocking the Square, the Rusk Rotary Club’s annual pancake supper and more!

There is no charge, we just ask that you donate at least five canned good items. All canned goods will be donated to the Good Samaritan in Rusk.

Rusk High School Senior Finale will be sponsoring a Christmas Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 9.

The First United Methodist Church-Rusk is holding its annual Cantata and pie raffle from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the church, 255 S. Henderson St., Rusk.

The program will be followed by lunch and the raffle.


The city of Alto’s annual Christmas parade starts at 6 pm., Tuesday, Dec. 11 in downtown Alto. This year’s theme is simply Christmas. Line-up at Hwy 294. $50 award to first place float. No pre-registration required.

Dec. 13th – A Alto Health For All seminar will be held at noon, Dec. 13, at 316 Smith ST, Alto. This seminar will be the Christmas edition, and will include a small luncheon, door prizes. Featured guest speaker is Gabriella Roberts, a sixth-degree black belt, who will be demonstrating “The Art of Survival-Market Strategy.”

Open to the general public, at no charge, and no childcare available.


The city of Bullard’s Christmas Kickoff Festival is 4:30-9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, This year will be full of lots of fun activities, food, Santa, hot chocolate, vendors, live music by Lauren Alexander and of course, the amazing parade.

Get in the spirit and show off your Christmas art skills by signing up to participate in the Christmas Tree decorating contest! Mark your calendars because this is an event that you will not want to miss.


The Jacksonville Christmas parade is 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6, in downtown Jacksonville.

Downtown Jacksonville businesses will hold their annual open houses during the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Mingle & Jingle event, noon-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 13 along Tomato Alley – Commerce Street from Bolton to Main Streets in downtown Jacksonville. Vendors, holiday sales, Santa, entertainment and more will all be featured.

Call Debbie Beathard, (903) 586-6140 to participate.

Jacksonville Tour of Homes will be held 1-5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for cookies, milk and photo ops from 6-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Angelina House, 211 Phillips St., Jacksonville. RSVP by Dec. 14 to reserve a seat for milk and cookies – no RSVP for photos or story time with Mrs. Claus necessary.

Donations of unwrapped, new toys for Toys for Tots will also be collected. There is no charge for this event. Call the Angelina House, (903) 586-1105 to RSVP.


The Troup Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas parade will be from6-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. All entries should arrive for line up by 5 p.m. Entries should exit Arp Drive (Highway 135) at Colle Street where Chamber members will give instructions for positioning in the parade.

Please do not try to enter the line-up from any other location.

The Grand Marshal will lead the parade, which will begin at the intersection of Carolina and Duval Street.

The parade will continue down Duval and will end when it turns right onto Front Street.

After the parade, Santa Claus will distribute candy and prizes at the Cameron-J.Jarvis Library parking lot.