When the city of Loudon celebrates the coming of Christmas, the entire community gets involved. Families line the parade route, standing or sitting in lawn chairs. Children hold bags for collecting candy thrown from floats and other parade entries. And as the Christmas parade is ending, the fun for families is just beginning.
Loudon Parks and Recreation sponsors the sixth annual Christmas in Olde Loudon Saturday, immediately after the 6 p.m. parade in downtown Loudon.
The area surrounding the Depot building and post office will be festive with lights and holiday decorations.
In an age of high-tech entertainment, Christmas in Olde Loudon brings back the fun times of yesteryear. A new addition to the festivities this year is a cornhole tournament. Ramey Lyle, Loudon Parks and Rec assistant director, said the game is similar to a beanbag toss or horseshoe games of a century ago.
The cornhole game involves putting a square bag filled with dried corn into a round hole in a wooden board.
“This game has been gaining in popularity in some of the other states in the last few years,” Lyle said. “The Loudon Parks and Recreation Department started a cornhole tournament league last year that has been popular.”
Mike Young, who helped get the cornhole tournament started here, said amateur and professional leagues are developing in many places. Those who are not familiar with the game may get an opportunity to see it played Saturday.
With official rules and regulations adopted by the American Cornhole Association, the game is played in a level rectangular area 10 feet wide and at least 45 feet long. The court consists of two platforms, designated pitchers boxes and foul lines.
Cornhole platforms are a 48-inch by 24-inch rectangle made of half-inch plywood. ACA-sanctioned tournaments must be played with smooth, wooden cornhole platforms as there is significant variance in play between wooden and plastic or other surfaces. The platform is tilted. Bags are six inches square and filled with two cups of corn.
“It is not as easy as it looks, and it is addictive,” said Young, whose brother in Kentucky got him involved with the game. “And you're moving when you play, so you're getting exercise.”
There will be plenty of activities Saturday for children of all ages. Near the Loudon Chamber of Commerce Building and Loudon City Hall, attendees will find Santa, the Grinch, wagon rides through downtown Loudon, a petting zoo, a nativity area, music, craft/ornament-making for children, prize drawings and much more.
Visit with Santa Claus, warm hands and roast marshmallows at the bonfire hosted by the Loudon Fire Department.
For more information, contact Loudon Parks and Recreation at 458-7525.
At Loudon United Methodist Church on Mulberry Street, the Loudon High School choir, Philadelphia Elementary School choir and Mount Olive Baptist Church choir will be in concert immediately after the parade.