|November 26, 2008 -
The City of Knoxville will light up for the Christmas season this Friday evening as the Regal Celebration of Lights kicks off the heart of the Christmas in the City celebration.
The event is set for 6 p.m. in Krutch Park Extension, though there will be free attractions and activities for the whole family throughout Krutch Park and Market Square.
Those include some great music, horse-drawn carriage rides, storytelling, a Christmas market, marshmallow roasting pits and Santa and Mrs. Claus all amid the glow of more than 300,000 glittering lights adorning Market Square, Krutch Park and downtown.
There will also be outdoor ice skating, which is a pay activity, on Market Square.
“This is a great celebration for the whole family and there is something for everyone here no matter how young, old or young at heart they are,” Mayor Bill Haslam said. “Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood in Knoxville and we hope to see you there to help celebrate this wonderful season.”
The Regal Celebration of Lights, sponsored by Regal Entertainment Corporation and the city, features the lighting of the 38-foot-tall First Tennessee Foundation Christmas Tree, which faces Gay Street.
Haslam, with some help from Santa and Mrs. Claus and others, will lead the countdown to switch on the lights, accompanied by fireworks and some, highly localized, snowfall.
The Lenoir City High School Choir, the First Presbyterian Church Handbell Choir and the Knoxville Choral Society, will provide the music for the event.
Bo Williams of WATE-TV will emcee the Regal Celebration of Lights.
In addition to the big tree on Gay Street lighting up, dozens of businesses and organizations will flip the switches turning on hundreds of brightly lit rooftop Christmas trees adorning buildings downtown, along the Tennessee River and across the city.
The “Up on the Rooftops” program began in 1995 with about 11 light trees and grew to more than 400 trees in 2004. The city is hoping to see more than 500 of the light trees this year.
In addition to lighting the tree other attractions at the Regal Celebration of Lights include:
The WDVX Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoedown will be on Market Square from 7-9 p.m. featuring performances from Knoxville’s Logan Murrell, Trey Hensley and Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier. The national champion clogging team from Knoxville’s A Step Above Dance Studio will open the Ho-Ho-Hoedown and WDVX’s Freddy Smith will emcee the concert.
Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice opens at 10 a.m. on Friday and the rink will be open every day, except Christmas Day, through January 4. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children 12-years-old and younger. The admission price includes skate rental.
The Christmas Market featuring items from local craftsmen
Photos with Santa and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus among fun offerings
Performances by Circle Modern Dance
In addition to the Regal Entertainment Group the major sponsors of Christmas in the City are: The News Sentinel, WIVK, Pilot, WDVX, Comcast, WVLT-TV, Mayfield, WATE-TV, 93.1FM The Point, First Tennessee and WBIR-TV.