santa mail

For two decades, a heart-warming community gathering co-hosted by Cople District Volunteer Fire Department and the Kinsale Foundation on the first Saturday of December has kicked off the holiday mood of loving and giving in Kinsale.

Last year we had to ratchet the celebration way back, but friends of Kinsale kicked in a record amount of money – about $12,000 -- to assist our less fortunate neighbors via this fund-raiser – through area food pantries, the Haven Shelter, and gifts for senior citizens and kids via Social Services.

This year, we’re happy to say Christmas in Kinsale is really B-A-C-K!!!

Start praying now for gentle sunny warmish weather and lots of heartfelt kindness to evoke the magic of giving that has surrounded past events.

Just about everything but the cookie sale is on the agenda for Dec. 4, 2021 -- HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR we can do that again!

As the cookies have always been a key element in this fundraiser, for the second year in a row we are collecting contributions in PLACE of baking or buying cookies.

Make checks to the Kinsale Foundation (mail to P.O. Box 307, Kinsale, Va. 22488) and put “cookies” on the memo line. The Kinsale Foundation will match the first $4,000 of cookie donations as we did last year, bringing last year’s total to about $16,000!

Consult the schedule below for times and details, but as a teaser…

Don’t forget to decorate! You can win LOVELY prizes!

Vendors can set up their tables free around the edges of Kinsale Park (circumscribed by Yeocomico Lane and Bank Street), bringing their arts and crafts to help you fill your Christmas list.

Gray Barn Antiques (on the other side of the Old Bank) will be open all day to share the Beninghoves’ treasure trove and trains.

Great food from the firemen, including fried and stewed oysters and crab cakes in the Park.

Santa will elicit kids’ Christmas wishes in the Gazebo.

A silent auction in the old Ice Cream Parlor and raffles of a quilt and a toy chest will go towards the charities,

The firemen are putting up the Christmas banners and have already started polishing up their firetrucks to carry Santa in the parade.

Turner Waughtel is on the lookout for the Perfect Memorial Tree on which we’ll be placing angels with the names of our dearest most recent departed ones with Kinsale connections – friends and relatives who have passed away since Thanksgiving 2020. By early November, there were 83 names on the angels list. Send yours in to P.O. Box 307 or email

Yes, you’ll hear music, lots of music: from trumpeter Paul Ludwig in the morning and Cameron Ashton on acoustic guitar starting at 12:30! What MORE could we ask for?

Well, how about something NEW:

VERY IMPORTANT: James River Carriages will be offering free rides around town in a mule-drawn wagon that allows for up to 10 family members and friends to enjoy the scene together.

Kids’ activities are still evolving. With the firehouse still closed to the public so we can’t have our Kids Zone inside, we’re looking at other extra special ways to make the day fun.

There is no admission charge for the event but we do want to emphasize that one key element is sharing our blessings with others who are going through tough times.

You can do this on the day OR before or after Dec. 4 by bringing gifts for senior citizens and helpful items for Haven residents to the Museum on Fridays and Saturdays from 10-5. We will get these to the Santa Joe Howell at Social Services and to the folks at the Haven. Some ideas of items needed:

For BOTH senior citizens and families away from home at Christmas: GIFT CARDS ARE A HUGE HELP. Also, toiletries, gloves, hats, warm socks, paper products, toiletries, canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, books, candy, treats like fingernail polish, bright lipstick, new clothes.

Especially for seniors: towels, sheets, blankets, comforters, (these can be freshly laundered and gently used. Stamps, stationery, chocolate – of course.

Especially for kids: toys, new stuffed animals, treats, things that YOU would miss from home.

For their mamas: coffee, tea, creamer, hot chocolate, personal hygiene items.


On FRIDAY Dec. 3, 2021:

Bring your homemade cakes, pies, candy to the Ice Cream Parlor or Museum, 10-5. Label with ingredients and your phone.

Decorate your house or business to win prizes and gussy up our area for the holidays. These will be judged starting at 4 p.m. on Dec. 3! So: Light up your decorations by 4 p.m. for the Judges to see and please keep them lit up all evening on Saturday, too! If you or your neighbors decorated in a big way NOTIFY or call 804-472-2013 to be judged.

On SATURDAY, Dec. 4, 2021, some events start at 10, others at noon or later!

Starting at 10 a.m.:

10-4 Christmas Bazaar. All vendors outside – in the Park. FREE.

10-5 Museum welcomes visitors. 2 raffles benefit this fund drive, both items are on display & tickets are available at Museum. Todd Ransone of Kinsale Restorations’ superb handmade chest (2/$5; 4/$10/;8/$20). Lynda Laird’s eloquent “Square Deal” Quilt (Tickets $10 each). Winner’s names will be drawn the Saturday before Christmas: at 2 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Museum.

10-3:15 Silent Auction in old Ice Cream Parlor next to Kinsale Museum. Besides dozens of intriguing auction items, this sale also includes sweets such as pound cakes, elegant cakes from Michelle’s Sweet Treats, fruit cake[s], hopefully homemade candy. Bidding closes at 3:15. Winners posted by 3:45. Pay before and after a hiatus at 4:30 for the tree lighting.

10-4 Gray Barn open to share antiques, trains. Santa will not be inside here this year, rather in Parade, then at Gazebo.

Starting at NOON


10-4 Ongoing… Christmas Bazaar.

12:30-3:20 Music by Cameron Ashton, a popular acoustic guitarist from Essex.

12-4 Great food by the Firemen: crab cakes, fried and stewed oysters, burgers, and more

12-3 Hot Apple Cider (free), and maybe ginger snaps too! outside (or inside) Museum.

1 to 3 Free wagon rides from the charming mules of James River Carriages.

Kids playing in the park, having a good time! Games, scavenger hunts


3:15 Auction bidding closes, is quickly tallied. Pay at Museum starting about 3:45. Winning bidders contacted if not present.

3:30 Parade with Santa. This will line up on Brook Ave., then officially START at the old Up the Creek/old Moss Chevrolet dealership. Parade comes to the Gazebo. Jan Pekarek will see if Cople Problemsolvers will want to join the parade!

3:45-4:30 Santa will greet kids in person in the Gazebo but NOT in his lap. He will listen to their Christmas wishes and find out if they’ve been good! KIDS… Put your names in the round plastic cookie tins to be included in the drawing for the bikes.

4:25 Bike giveaway. The firemen will once again give away four bikes. Winners drawn at Gazebo before tree lighting.

4:30 Memorial Tree lighting. 2021 angels’ names will be read. Rebecca Rumburg of Ebenezer will offer the prayer

4:45 Decorating contest prizes awarded



More info: director’s cell 804-472-2013 OR