VOL. 7 | NO. 50 | Saturday, December 6, 2014
Celebrating the Holiday Season in East Tennessee
BONNY C. MILLARD | The Ledger
Even ole Ebenezer Scrooge could find something in Knoxville to get him in the holiday spirit.
Area residents have a wide selection of holiday activities including a Clarence Brown Theatre rendition of Scrooge’s Christmas Eve’s nocturnal visitors. Many of the activities are free, but others range in price. Visit the websites for more detailed information, including time, ticket price and availability.
This list highlights the season’s Best Bets for Knoxville area natives, newcomers, families, and of course, kids.
The City of Knoxville and Visit Knoxville have additional listings. www.cityofknoxville.org/christmas and www.visitknoxville.com.
Knoxville’s annual WIVK Christmas Parade is Friday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. The downtown parade route goes from Howard Baker Jr. to Church Street to Gay Street and finally to Jackson Avenue.
Also, today, Gatlinburg hosts its Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, 7:30 p.m. beginning at Traffic Light 1A on Highway 321, and ending at Traffic Light 10. Officials say the event lasts about an hour and that the Parkway through downtown Gatlinburg will be closed. The suggestion is to go early and make a day of it.
Other area parades:
The Rocky Top Chamber of Commerce’s “A Rocky Top Christmas,’’ parade is also today, 7 p.m. Join the fun at S Main, St.
The 52nd annual Sevierville Christmas Parade is Saturday, Dec. 6, 11 a.m., beginning 110 Gary Wade Blvd.
Townsend presents its Hometown Heroes Christmas Parade, on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m.
Clinton Christmas Parade, “The Gifts of Christmas,’’ is Saturday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m. in downtown Clinton.
Oak Ridge’s Christmas Parade is Saturday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m. “Holiday Homecoming” is the theme. The parade route will begin at Corporate Center, on the corner of Lafayette and Laboratory Road.
The Maryville-Alcoa Christmas Parade is Saturday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m.
Theatre and events
Knoxville Children’s Theatre
This season, the theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” adapted from the Barbara Robinson novel of the same name. The play runs through Dec. 21. knoxvillechildrenstheatre.com
Clarence Brown Theatre
The treasured classic tale of curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge, who declares “Bah! Humbug!” at greetings for a Merry Christmas, will come to life on the Clarence Brown Theatre stage at the University of Tennessee. Charles Dickens’ novel, “A Christmas Carol,” was an instant success when it was originally published and has remained popular through the years. The miserly Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Present, who help him discover redemption. The play, directed by Micah-Shane Brewer, a recent graduate of UT’s MFA Acting Program, opened in November and runs through Dec. 21.clarencebrowntheatre.com/plays/a-christmas-carol
Christmas in the City on Market Square
Enjoy this winter festival with lighted trees and decorations to celebrate the season in Knoxville’s Market Square. Holiday displays, including the popular, ‘Up on the Rooftops,’ decorations and may be seen until Jan. 1. Take a walk in the brisk air and let the sights and sounds get you in the mood for the holiday season.
Holidays on Ice:
Knoxville’s answer to Rockefeller Center in New York City, Holidays on Ice provides an outdoor, open-air venue for ice skating on Market Square. A perennial favorite, the ice skating rink offers family fun and holiday cheer. The rink, presented by Home Federal Bank, runs through Jan. 4, and is open rain or shine. www.knoxvillesholidaysonice.com
The Appalachian Ballet Company will present “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” with music by the Knoxville Orchestra Symphony, Dec. 6 and 7 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and at Maryville’s Clayton Center for the Arts for two performances on Dec. 13.
Appalachian Ballet Company
An annual holiday favorite is the ballet, “The Nutcracker,” based on the book by E.T.A. Hoffman, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” and set to the music of Tchaikovsky. The Appalachian Ballet Company once again join forces with the Knoxville Orchestra Symphony to present this lively ballet that features Sugar Plum Fairies, the Mouse King and his minions, the Snow Queen and of course, Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.
The ballet will be performed in Knoxville at the Civic Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 7, and in Maryville at the Clayton Center for the Arts in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 13.www.appalachianballet.com
Christmas Card to the City
Christmas carols are sure to get everyone in the spirit. A group will be singing both secular and traditional songs at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7 on the Market Square stage.
XFINITY Christmas at Chilhowee Park
This event features a spectacular forest of floating lighted trees, seasonal music by church choirs, hot chocolate and Santa Claus. Many activities are available for children including train rides, face painting and creating gingerbread houses. This event is at 6 p.m. Dec. 12, but residents can take driving tours through the park until Jan. 1.
The Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus presents “ChristmaHanuSolstiKwaanzakas: A Holiday Sampler!,” featuring an assortment of seasonal carols to usher the holidays in with good cheer. Mezzo-soprano Karen Nickell joins the KGMC as a guest performer. The KGMC’s concert is a one-time performance at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 on the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre.knoxgmc.org/events/news
The Nativity Pageant of Knoxville, Inc.
This beloved showing of the Christmas story features a 120-member cast, a150-voice choir, live animals, period costumes and an extensive set design. The nonprofit, formed in 1969, puts on an annual production at the Civic Coliseum, and the shows are free. The one-hour performance offers opening seating. Three shows are scheduled for Dec. 13, 14, and 15. www.knoxvillenativity.com
The historic theatre offers a number of events during December. These features are holiday themed:
• Dec. 14: “It’s a Wonderful Life” 1 and 5 p.m. showings, presented by Home Federal Bank.
• Dec. 16: The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra: A Swingin’ Christmas featuring clarinetist Ken Peplowski, presented by Merrill Lynch.
• Dec. 19 (7:30 p.m.) and 21 (2 p.m.): “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby.
• Dec. 20: Joy – An Irish Christmas features traditional carols and Irish folk music.
• Dec. 22: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis. The popular group is in its thirtieth year touring.
• Dec. 23: Moscow Ballet arrives in town for two performances of its Great Russian Nutcracker. www.tennesseetheatre.com
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
KSO presents its 28th Annual Clayton Holiday Concert. Joining the KSO for an Olde English Christmas is the Church Street United Methodist Treble Choir, the Knoxville Choral Society, the University of Tennessee Herald Trumpets, the Webb School Madrigal Singers, and GO! Contemporary Dance Works. Performances are Dec. 19, 20 and 21 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium.
Other activities by date:
DEC. 5 THRU FEB. 28
25th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest
Natural beauty, outlet shopping, massive displays of Holiday Lights on Smoky Mountain Parkway and elsewhere in Sevierville area, Christmas activities and more every day until the end of Feb. 28. Information: www.VisitSevierville.com.
The Flower Pot, 700 S. Gay, shows off its holiday spirit in preparation for Christmas in the City, which includes a window decoration contest by local downtown merchants. This year’s theme is the Twelve Days of Christmas and voting is ongoing on the City of Knoxville’s Facebook page.
The District in Bearden’s Holiday Open House
Shopping, food and more. 5-7 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Information: www.thedistrictinbearden.com, 865-604-1775
SATURDAY, DEC. 6
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Interactive art event for pre-schoolers (ages 4 and 5) and parents. 9 a.m. Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center, 1127 Broadway. Information:www.cityofknoxville.org/recreation/arts, 865-523-1401
Christmas Gifts to Give
Class for kids, 6-10, to make gifts and wrap them. Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center, 1127 Broadway. 10:30 a.m. Information:www.cityofknoxville.org/recreation/arts, 865-523-1401
DEC. 6-7, 13-14
Santa Train Ride
Santa Train Ride at Secret City Excursion Train. Depart from the Heritage Center, 2010 Highway 58 in Oak Ridge. One-hour excursions with narration depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Information: 865 241-2140
SUNDAY, DEC. 7
UT Holiday Musicale
University of Tennessee School of Music’s Board of Advisors sponsors a Holiday Musicale to benefit student scholarships. 4-6 p.m. Suggested donation: $75. Historic Westwood, 3425 Kingston Pike. Information: eventcheckknox.com.
Adopt a child for the holidays. Helen Ross McNabb Center, John Tarleton Campus, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wishlists are provided. Information: 865-329-9176
Bluegrass at Christmas
Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival in Pigeon Forge at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center, 4010 Parkway. Information: 865-453-1823
FRIDAY, DEC. 12
Alive after Five
Holiday Dance Party with the Streamliners Swing Orchestra and Kayley Farmer Project. Knoxville Museum of Art. 6 p.m. Information: knoxart.org
Holiday Sparkles and Spirits
A benefit for The Joy of Music School. Live and silent auctions. Music, food, drink. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Cherokee Mills, 2220 Sutherland Ave. Information: joyofmusicschool.org.
SATURDAY, DEC. 13
ETHS Holiday Open House
East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street. Children and adults will enjoy holiday music, cookies, hot cider, craft demonstrations, storytelling, ornament-making for kids, book signings, and free museum admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Information: www.eastTNhistory.org, 865 215-8824
Christmas at Mabry-Hazen
Mabry-Hazen House, 1711 Dandridge Dr., Knoxville is open for tours with rooms decorated by Knoxville designers. Free. Donations requested. Information: mabryhazen.com
TUESDAY, DEC. 16
Jazz at Christmas
Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s “Swingin’ Christmas with Ken Peplowski, 8 p.m. Tennessee Theatre. Information: 865-684-1200
FRIDAY, DEC. 19
Tour de Lights
This fun, casual bike ride has been named one of Knoxville’s favorite holiday traditions. The ride, which begins at 7 p.m., starts from Market Square and tours downtown is less than 5 miles. Prizes are awarded after the ride in several categories, including best-decorated bike, best decorated person, and best group theme. Judging begins at 6 p.m. Helmets and headlights are required. All ages and skill levels welcome. Information: www.knoxtrans.org, 865 215-6100
Movies in Maryville
The Palace Theater in Maryville presents a holiday tradition. Friday, December 19: “It’s a Wonderful Life” 7 p.m. Saturday, December 20: White Christmas, 7 p.m. 113 West Broadway, Maryville. Information: www.palacetheater.com, 865-983-3330
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 31
New Year’s On the Square
Ice skating on the Holidays on Ice skating rink from 1 p.m. until midnight. Festival foods and face painting available at the ice rink. Music on the Square beginning at 11 p.m., with a big screen showing events from 2014. Countdown beginning at 11:59 p.m., with a ball drop and fireworks. Information: 865-215-4248