So what’s up, Knoxville? Gay Street closes? Families with kids smushed into strollers or perched on daddy’s shoulders move through Krutch Park? And the waiting line for the ice rink in Market Square snakes all the way around the big white tent?
It was the Celebration of Lights sponsored by Regal Cinema — Friday, November 28th — when Mayor Rogero (with the help of Santa, of course) lit the city’s holiday tree kicking off Christmas in the City.
And what a crowd it was! Parking lots at capacity. Restaurants with long wait times. And lines at family-friendly booths confirmed what we suspected — kids love doing as much as seeing. Like writing letters to Santa (sponsored by Visit Knoxville), designing Christmas cards for the troops at the Red Cross booth, or concocting “reindeer” food with the help of Earth Fare employees.
Some folks hopped aboard the train snaking its way down Gay Street . . .
while others just tried to stay warm.
Strains of holiday sounds from a man playing a saw (yes, really) drew a crowd . . .
as did the Salvation Army players . . .
and this happy bell ringer.
A group of exchange students from France and their host families in Oak Ridge loved posing in the midst of the mayhem on Market Square . . .
while wobbly skaters packed into the rink on Market Square — some just lucky to be upright!
Bundled-up fans like this little panda on her daddy’s shoulders . . .
listened — amazed — at the grown-up sounds coming from 10-year-old EmiSunshine and the Rain. (She even yodels!)
But the longest lines of all moved cautiously in and around and through Krutch Park beautifully lit with over 100,000 lights as young and old tried to find a place near the stage.
We joined the crowd, grabbing a free sample of Cheerwine from the girls of Rowan County, North Carolina, where it’s made, and then . . .
when Santa arrived, we listened as Mayor Madeline Rogero urged everyone to enjoy what the city had to offer — from decorated windows to the parade coming on December 5th. The countdown began — 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — ’til the tree was lit and fireworks shot up toward the top of The Holston!
Another great Celebration of Lights kicked off Christmas in the City. Knoxville was officially ready for the 2014 holiday season!
For more information about activities all over Knoxville during the month of December, go to the City of Knoxville website.
Articles on the Regal Celebration of Lights:
“Look past Thanksgiving to ‘Christmas in the City'” by Amy McCrary: http://www.knoxnews.com/knoxville/family/look-past-thanksgving-to-christmas-in-the-city_96084918
“Christmas in the City Kicks Off Nov. 28 with Tree Lighting, Market Square Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoedown, Ice Skating”: http://www.cityofknoxville.org/Press_Releases/Content/2014/1113.asp
City of Knoxville Special Events: https://www.facebook.com/CityofKnoxvilleSpecialEvents
EmiSunshine and the Rain: https://www.facebook.com/emisunshinemusic
Mayor Madeline Rogero: https://www.facebook.com/MayorRogero
Visit Knoxville: https://www.facebook.com/visitknoxvilletn