Santa's sleigh has some competition in the "coolest ride" category this year, thanks to the third annual Christmas 4 Kids Tour Bus Show and Artist Meet & Greet from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, at the Hendersonville Wal-Mart, 204 North Anderson Lane.
For a small donation, holiday-lovin' music fans can visit the tour buses of more than 50 artists and celebrities, as well as meet artists who will be present signing autographs and giving fans an inside look at their mobile home away from home.
All proceeds from the event will go to Christmas 4 Kids, a nonprofit organization that has been in existence for 25-plus years and provides underprivileged children with the money to shop and purchase Christmas gifts for family and loved ones – something most have never had the opportunity to do before.
Donation requests: For those who attend, the requested donation is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 2-12, free for children under age 2, and a maximum donation of $20 per family.
Among those returning to take part in the Christmas 4 Kids bus tour and meet 'n' greet are the award-winning, brother 'n' sister duo The Roys, who are now touring in support of their popular "New Day Dawning" release.
Elaine Roy, one-half of the The Roys, told Examiner.com on Dec. 15, "We have been involved with Christmas 4 Kids for at least five years and each year we are so thrilled when this time of year comes around. It is such a great organization and we are honored to lend our time to help out."
"There is no better gift than seeing the kids light up when they get to go shopping, and riding on the buses in downtown Hendersonville really is a thrill for them also," added Lee Roy. "Christmas is a time for giving and you can’t put a price on that."
This year's event has some first-time participants, too, including rising country artist Lisa Matassa, who made her "Inside Music Row" debut over the weekend.
"I am so excited to be a part of Christmas 4 Kids this year and can't wait to meet all of the children! I know they are going to have such a great time, but I also know it will be a moment that will stay with me forever," Matassa told Examiner.com on Dec. 16.
In addition to The Roys and Matassa, the still-growing list of artists/celebs confirmed to participate in the annual bus show event includes The Grascals, Craig Campbell, Phoenix Drive, Clinton Gregory, Ty Brown, Gretchen Wilson, Daryle Singletary, Crystal Shawanda, Jamie Lee Thurston and Shane Thomas, to name a sampling.
Money raised by this year’s annual concert featuring Charlie Daniels, along with special guests Rodney Atkins, Phil Vassar, Thompson Square and Caroline Kole, not to mention the Celebrity Golf Tournament and Tour Bus Show events, will provide more than 400 children from 29 different schools a daylong shopping excursion.
The special day consists of a chauffeured trip from their school aboard an entertainer's luxury tour bus, lunch and a party hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus at Hendersonville Expo Center. To wrap up the day, these children will receive a brand-new winter coat and $150 to spend on anything they want during a Wal-Mart shopping spree!
For more information on Christmas 4 Kids, please visit www.christmas4kids.org.