Last week the annual Christmas 4 Kids holiday bus tour event took place in a nearby Nashville suburb. The 2-night event which is held yearly at the Walmart in Hendersonville, began Monday night with 70 tour buses filling the parking lot. The buses hosted several of the nation’s hottest music stars along with local up-and-comers who opened their bus doors to charity supporters and fans. For a nominal fee ($5 adult/$2 child) people were invited to climb aboard some of the most extravagant tour buses decorated for the holidays; offering a glimpse at how traveling artists live, enjoying holiday treats and meet & greets with the artists.
Featured celebrities this year included Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman and Chet Roberts of 3 Doors Down. Past attendees have included stars such as Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood and Conway Twitty.
The following day the same buses picked up over 400 children whose families are going through tough times this holiday season and gave them a Christmas to remember. The all-day journey began at local-area schools where the children hopped on board the decked-out buses and were chauffeured to a Christmas celebration meal provided by Garth Brooks and continued with a party hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus before concluding with a shopping extravaganza. Led by a police escort the buses returned to Walmart where each child was given $175 to spend on whatever their little hearts desired. As the kids exited the buses they were each paired with a volunteer who walked them through the store helping them pick out their gifts. They also received a free jacket to ensure they stay warm this winter.
Christmas 4 Kids began in 1982 and has provided holiday joy to over 9000 children since. Preparation for the bus events continues throughout the year with various fundraising events; other attractions include a golf tournament and benefit concert before the December bus events. The golf tournament this year was held in May at the Hermitage Golf Course followed by the concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium in November. This year’s concert performers included Shenandoah, Restless Heart and Darryl Worley.
To learn more about Christmas 4 Kids check out their website at Christmas4Kids.org and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Written by Josie Bisto for Country Music Pride