With so much going on in southeast
Tennessee during the holidays, the biggest issue you’ll face is finding time to do it all. So here’s to making your life easy—a list of all the unique things to do in our neck of the woods.
Kick off your festivities at the 18th Annual Cherokee Heritage/Crane Days taking place this Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be food, music, demonstrations, several guest speakers, and those magnificent birds, of course. Head over to the
Memorial Park in
Tennessee to take it all in.
6800 Blythe Ferry Lane.
Don’t forget one of our all-time faves—Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights which starts up Nov. 20, 2009 and runs through Jan. 2, 2010. With 30 different holiday scenes using over a million lights, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights is definitely one of the brightest sites to see this holiday season. Enjoy nightly entertainment in the pavilion with a cup of hot cocoa by the fire, while the kids decorate gingerbread cookies and visit with Santa. Don’t miss the elves hard at work building toys and harvesting candy canes! http://www.seerockcity.com/pages/Enchanted-Garden-of-Lights/
Just down the mountain you’ll find Ruby Falls’ Deck the Falls starting Friday, Nov. 21 and running through Saturday, Jan. 3, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day).
In addition to the regular daily offerings,
Falls offers a special twist for the Holiday Season as they “Deck the Falls”. Enjoy the sounds of the season, as holiday music accompanies you through your tour of the falls. There is a special, state-of-the-art LED
Holiday light show! And on Fridays and Saturdays, enjoy a special 1920s style Christmas.
Check to see if you’ve made the Naughty or Nice List with Breakfast with Santa in the Grand Ballroom of the Chattanoogan on Nov. 28, 2009. Enjoy a full breakfast, entertainment and an opportunity to get pictures with Santa before he returns to the North Pole to get ready for Christmas. Seating is limited, so reservations are required. http://www.chattanooganhotel.com/
Christmas on the Mountain at
State Park takes place the first weekend in December. This three-day celebration features handmade holiday crafts, candies and breads, as well as a number of activities for all ages. A silent auction will be held on Saturday. This is a great place to pick up some unique gifts.
2009 Village Camp Road
Office: 423-881-5298/Inn & Cabin Reservations: 1-800-250-8610
Got the winter blues? Head to the
Tennessee Aquarium for “Ho, Ho, H2O- a Tropical
Holiday Adventure”. Though the weather outside may be frightful, inside the aquarium, you’ll feel as if you’ve escaped to a tropical oasis. All day programs start Nov. 20 and run through Jan. 3, 2010. Also, check out the holiday classic, The Polar Express playing at the IMAX just across the street.
What says holidays like nothing else? Downtown Christmas parades. In
Southeast Tennessee, we’ve got you covered:
On Dec. 5, enjoy an Old-Fashioned Christmas in downtown
Tennessee. Artists and crafters will be demonstrating theirs skills during the Christmas Arts Showcase from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Grab a bowl of chili and snap a picture with Santa at
Park from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Enter Fido or Lassie in the Pet Pageant at 3 p.m. The completely non-motorized horse and carriage Christmas parade kicks off at 5 p.m. End the day at the historic courthouse, after the parade, for a bit of caroling. http://www.mainstreetdayton.org/Events.html
Chattanooga’s Holiday Starlight Parade takes place on Dec. 5, on
Market Street in
Chattanooga. This is
Chattanooga’s largest evening holiday parade complete with performers, vehicles and floats strung in twinkling lights, and tons of Yuletide cheer.
Light Up the Basin takes places in
Tennessee on Friday, Dec. 4. Local communities coordinate their Christmas Lighting Ceremonies into a single evening of celebration the night before the annual Kiwanis Christmas Parade. The night starts off at 6pm, at the McCaysville Branch of United Community Bank, where Mayor Buddy Finch helps light McCaysville’s official Christmas Tree. A candlelit parade complete with caroling leads to the Copperhill Branch of BB&T for another tree lighting. Next, Copperhill City Mayor Cecil Arp lights up the Yule Tree at City Hall. The caroling continues down
Grande Avenue towards the lighting of the wreath of the
Bridge. Warm up with a cup of free hot chocolate and cookies while the kids visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
On Dec. 4, head over to
Tennessee, for Carols in the City. The evening starts at 6pm, with the traditional lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, followed by Carols in the City. But this isn’t your average caroling… This reverse-caroling event uses bell-tollers to lead visitors throughout historic downtown, where each downtown church choir awaits their chance to wow the crowd with their own special caroling. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be on hand in the bandstand, and visitors can also enjoy a free carriage ride through this quaint, historic town.
Center is hosting its Annual Festival of Trees throughout the month of December. Local businesses, schools, and organizations decorate and compete in categories ranging from Most Imaginative, Best Children’s Tree, Best Home-made Ornaments, Best Historical Theme and Most Community Spirit. http://www.ocoeecountry.com/events.cfm?eid=340
Don’t forget fruitcake! It’s a holiday gift you either love or hate. If you’re one of those fruitcake haters, then you’re in luck with The Dutch Maid Bakery’s fruitcake. One bite and you’ll quickly become fruitcake converted. If you’re still skeptical about the fruitcake idea, the Dutch Maid offers cookies, cakes, jams, breads and pastries, perfect for holiday parties or gifts.
The Sunshine Hollow Bakery ups the fruitcake ante with a honey-butter-rum batter, chocked full of pecan halves, candied pineapple, whole cherries, dates and coconut.
These are two fruitcakes you won’t be re-gifting!
If you’re looking for just that one special tree, here’s your place:
Little Mountain Tree Farm
Reese Family Christmas Tree Farm
188 Leamon Drive,