|November 23, 2011 -
Mayor Daniel Brown will lead the countdown Friday night as downtown Knoxville lights up for the holidays during the Regal Celebration of Lights.
The big Christmas in the City kickoff is set for 6 p.m., November 25, in the Krutch Park Extension, which faces Gay Street, though the family-friendly celebration - featuring hundreds of thousands of lights, great music, storytelling, the Christmas Market and outdoor ice skating - will also fill Krutch Park and Market Square.
The event concludes at 9 p.m.
Among the activities at this year's celebration are some terrific music, horse-drawn carriage rides, storytelling, the Christmas Market, marshmallow roasting pits and a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, all amid the glitter and glow of more than 300,000 lights decorating downtown.
The Regal Celebration of Lights is highlighted by the lighting of the 38-foot First Tennessee Foundation Christmas Tree. The Unity Choir, a group made up of members of choirs at several Knoxville Churches, and the Clarence Brown Theatre will perform at the tree lighting.
The Celebration of Lights is presented by Regal Entertainment Group and produced by the City of Knoxville.
In addition Knoxville's Holidays on Ice, the popular outdoor ice skating rink on Market Square, which is a pay activity, will open Friday at 10 a.m. and the WDVX Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoedown concert begins at 5 p.m. also on Market Square.
Mayor Brown, with help from Santa will lead the countdown to light the tree accompanied as always by fireworks and some very local snowfall at the Celebration of Lights.
Bo Williams of WATE-TV will emcee Friday evening's lighting ceremony.
Krutch Park Extension is located along Gay Street near its intersection with Clinch Avenue. There will be free parking in the City of Knoxville's Locust, Market and State Street garages on Friday.
In addition to the lighting of the big tree on Gay Street scores of business and organizations will be featuring brightly lit rooftop Christmas trees adorning buildings downtown, along the Tennessee River and across the city.
The WDVX Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoedown includes early performances from Freddy Smith, who also serves as emcee, The Step Above Dance School, Knoxville's national champion clogging team, and Wade Hill and the Cluck and Pluck Band. That will be followed with performances later in the evening by Logan Murrell and Pistol Creek Catch of the Day.
Knoxville's Holidays on Ice will be open, rain or shine, from November 25 through January 8, 2011. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12-years-old and younger. The admission price includes skate rental. For more information please call 865-215-4423 or visit www.knoxvillesholidaysonice.com.
The Christmas Market featuring items from local craftsmen will be open Friday from noon until 9 p.m.
In addition to the Regal Entertainment Group the major sponsors of Christmas in the City are: WATE-TV Channel 6, Chick-fil-A, Pilot, WDVX, The Knoxville News Sentinel, Home Federal Bank, Cruze Dairy Farm and Clarence Brown Theatre.
This is the first three big Friday night holiday celebrations.
The WIVK-Fowlers Christmas Parade is set for 7 p.m. on Friday December 2, in downtown Knoxville and Comcast Christmas in Chilhowee Park will be at 6 p.m. on Friday December 9.
For more information regarding Christmas in the City events please visit www.cityofknoxville.org/christmas.