A Legislative Perspective on the Kentucky General Assembly with State Representative Rick Rand December 5, 2016

A Legislative Perspective on the Kentucky General Assembly with State Representative Rick Rand December 5, 2016

With only about two-and-a-half weeks left before Christmas, time is drawing short for those looking for the perfect gift or a holiday event to attend.
Fortunately, there is help available, beginning with the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Kentucky Arts Council. The websites for both (Kentuckytourism.com and artscouncil.ky.gov) have collected long lists of available businesses and attractions that are doing their part to make the season special.
Some of these are truly one-of-a-kind, such as Louisville’s Mega Cavern, which offers the world’s only underground light show that you drive through. The 30-minute trip through parts of 17 miles of caverns features 850 different characters and more than two million points of light.
Other unique destinations across the commonwealth include the Kentucky Horse Park’s Southern Lights – which has been drawing visitors for more than two decades – and Newport Aquarium’s Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa, which has been entertaining families for more than a dozen years. At the Louisville Zoo, meanwhile, you can take part in Santa’s Safari this coming weekend and next.
Speaking of traveling, the Kentucky Railway Museum’s North Pole Express in New Haven gives visitors several opportunities this month to visit Santa. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas, to complete the tribute to “The Polar Express.”
Other traditional shows, such as the Nutcracker, those can be found in places like Bowling Green’s SKyPAC, the Lexington Opera House and the Mountain Art Center in Prestonsburg.
If you’re a fan of the timeless classic movie “White Christmas,” a collection of memorabilia usually featured at the Rosemary Clooney House in Bracken County can be seen at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville through Jan. 5th.
Those wanting a gift with a local touch can visit such places as Berea’s Kentucky Artisan Center, which features more than 700 artists representing more than 100 counties.
Closer to home, there are gift shops at our state resort parks and area museums, and numerous small business sell locally made products. Many of these stores also offer “Kentucky Proud” gift baskets that bring together items with various themes.
While Christmas is celebrated around the world, it’s worth noting that Kentucky has made a couple of its own contributions to the holiday or the date itself.
Three years ago, the Lexington Catholic High School and several nearby middle schools landed themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records by holding the largest gift-giving game of Secret Santa. All told, 1,463 people participated.
On a Christmas morning nearly two centuries ago, Ephraim McDowell became the father of abdominal surgery when he removed a 22.5-pound ovarian tumor from a woman who would go on to live another 32 years. This was before the days of anesthesia, so she sang hymns to distract herself from the pain.
Once Christmas is behind us, we’ll begin getting ready for the new year. With that in mind, many of our state resort parks will have events counting down the hours to 2017.
The start of the year also means the start of a new legislative session isn’t far behind. It’s scheduled to begin on Jan. 3rd and last for 30 working days.
As that date approaches, I encourage you to continue letting me know your views or concerns about any issue affecting the state. You can write to me at Room 366B, Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort KY 40601; or you can email me at [email protected]
To leave a message for me or for any legislator, call toll-free at 800-372-7181. For those with a hearing impairment, the number is 800-896-0305.

Paid for by Rick Rand for State Representative, Regina Rand, Treasurer