Scott County celebrates its bi-centennial by providing a chance to win tickets for the ride of a lifetime – a pair of seats on the regionally-famous exclusive Santa Train


Santa Train logo

IN 1943, Flem Dobyns of Dobyns-Taylor Hardware Store and Bill Waddell of the Kingsport Times-News wanted to do something special for their neighbors and patrons around the holidays. They decided that the perfect way to distribute candy and gifts to needy families would be by train—and who would be a better conductor than Santa himself?


The world’s largest Santa Parade (110 miles!) starts as volunteers, guests and media personnel board the train in Kingsport and head up to Pikeville, Kentucky. Early Saturday morning, the train leaves the Pikeville Station and makes 13 scheduled stops and travels through 29 towns in Kentucky and Southwest Virginia, delivering gifts and Christmas cheer all along the way.


What began over 70 years ago with hard candy, clothes and small toys donated by local folks has grown into an annual distribution of 15 tons of goodies, toys and gifts. And this year, as Scott County celebrates its 200th birthday, you can register to win tickets for the train—a chance to experience, firsthand, this time-honored tradition. “Over the years, I can’t count the number of people who have told me they have always wanted to ride the Santa Train,” says Pam Cox, Director of Tourism for Scott County. “Well, now is their chance!”

With 20 official Bi-Centennial events scheduled between now and October 31, Scott County encourages residents and visitors alike to get out and experience the history, nature and beauty this area has had to offer for two centuries. “Celebrating 200 years is a huge event,” says Cox. “We wanted to do something special to commemorate this historical year.” You can enter to win at each of the sanctioned events, so that could mean 20 chances to win—and enjoy Scott County at the same time!


For more information and a full list of events where you can register, call (276) 386-6521 or visit The Scott County Facebook page also has the most up-to-date schedule. At each event location, look for the “Official Bi-Centennial” tent to register to win!