FLATWOODS, Ky. — The city of Flatwoods will usher in the Christmas season with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event at Bobby F. Crager City Park, 2515 Reed Street in Flatwoods, Ky. on Nov. 21, at 6 p.m.
Mayor of Flatwoods, Ron Fields, said the Flatwoods Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event is something the community always looks forward to.
“It is just a big thrill each year to host this event,” Fields said. “I know many in the community look forward to it. Santa Claus will be here, and the young ones can sit on his lap and tell them what they want for Christmas, and get Christmas candy, and have their picture taken with Santa.”
Fields said they will be singing Christmas Carols as well, and will provide free hot chocolate to every in attendance. The actual tree lighting will be performed by Gaylard Keen, a man who has greatly served the Flatwoods community, according to Fields.
“Gaylard Keen is the person that is going to light the Christmas tree this year,” Fields said. “He is a local celebrity, so to speak. He has really done a lot for the community, so we are really glad to have him light the tree.”
Keen has served the local community of Flatwoods with noticeable service for a lifetime. He graduated from Russell High School and worked at CSX Raceland shops and AK Steel for a total of 39 years. Keen served on the FIVCO Area Development District, and was chair of the Board of Adjustments in Flatwoods, according to Fields.
Keen said he is honored to be selected to light the tree for the city of Flatwoods.
“I spent my life in the area, and helping to make a lot of things happen, so this is an honor,” Keen said. “Being a grand marshall, or anything in this capacity would be an honor to anybody.”
Additionally, Fields said Keen is a charter member of the Stephen Salyers Charities Foundation (formerly the Billy Ray Cyrus Charities Foundation). Gaylard was a personal, long time friend of Ron and Joan Cyrus from childhood and was asked by Ron Cyrus in 1992 to serve on the Foundation. Keen has maintained the post office box in Flatwoods, Ky. for 24 years, and picks u the mail sent to the Foundation several times weekly. Keen also reviews the contribution requests and presents them to the full board for consideration, and makes sure that all requests fit the requirements for foundation consideration.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.