Knoxville, TN - Is there any better way to get immersed into the holiday spirit than by roasting marshmallows, meeting Santa and illuminating Krutch Park with more than 100,000 lights?

The free annual Christmas in the City festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, on Market Square and at Krutch Park with the Regal Celebration of Lights.

The kickoff opens a festive holiday season, with dozens of family-friendly events. The City’s Office of Special Events wants to make it easy for Christmas in the City revelers on the go to quickly and effortlessly access information on events, times and dates, admissions and more, so a new mobile app for smartphones and tablets is being rolled out.

At the Nov. 28 Regal Celebration of Lights, a 38-foot-tall tree in the Krutch Park Extension will be lit – but that’s just for starters. Families are invited to enjoy the evening, with music from the Old City Buskers and bands of carolers, train rides, pictures with Santa, face painting, marshmallow roasting and more.

On Market Street, local businesses will offer free crafts for children. And stop by Home Depot's Santa’s Elves Workshop as well as The Muse Knoxville’s tent for a special activity.

The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., with other activities continuing until 9 p.m. Dozens of businesses and organizations will be turning on hundreds of brightly lit Christmas trees adorning buildings downtown and across the city, as the “Up on the Rooftops” promotion continues. (“Up on the Rooftops” began in 1995 with 11 lit trees, and it’s grown to include an estimated 400 or more trees last year.)

Regal Celebration of Lights sponsors include Regal Entertainment, Pilot Flying J, WDVX, Home Depot, WATE Channel 6, 93.1 WNOX, Krispy Kreme, the Knoxville News Sentinel, Cheerwine, the Muse Knoxville, the Crown Plaza and All Occasions Party Rentals.

Meanwhile, the new Christmas in the City app can be downloaded onto most smartphones and other mobile devices now. Apple product apps will be available soon.

People can also use the app to vote for their favorite Window Wonderland display. Participating merchants and restaurants will be turning their storefront windows into a festive holiday display, coinciding with "The Twelve Days of Christmas" or their own creative decor. Votes can also be cast on the City's Office of Special Events Facebook page –

All Christmas in the City events will continue to be listed on the City of Knoxville’s website:

If you’re in the mood to share your holiday photos, the Special Events Office can help spread your holiday greetings and good cheer through social media. See the perfect store window decoration? Admiring a rooftop tree? Capture a magical family moment? Email your photos to, and City staffers can distribute many of them through Twitter and Facebook.

Or if you’re Tweeting your own photos, please use the hashtag #christmasinthecity.

There are two other Christmas in the City events that will kick off on Friday, Nov. 28, as well:

Market Square Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoedown
6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28
Market Square

This year’s Holiday Ho-Ho Hoedown features East Tennessee's own national singing sensation, 10-year old Emisunshine & the Rain, along with Knoxville rising star Mae Beth Harris. The hoedown also showcases the national champion Knoxville clogging team from the Step Above Dance School. Award-winning WDVX personality Freddy Smith and his Christmas Chicken will emcee and pose for pictures.

The City of Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice, presented by Home Federal Bank
Friday, Nov. 28, through Monday, Jan. 5, 2015
Market Square

Enjoy skating under Christmas lights and under tent cover – rain or shine! This unique outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of downtown Knoxville draws more than 16,000 skaters each year.
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children 12 years and younger, and admission includes skate rental.

Skate with Peppermint Panda, the official mascot for the City of Knoxville’s Holidays on Ice!

For more information about Knoxville's Holidays on Ice, call 865-215-4423 or visit

Sponsors include Home Federal Bank, the Central Business Improvement District, Pilot Flying J, Regal Entertainment, WBIR-TV Channel 10, B 97.5 and the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Finally, mark your calendars! After the Nov. 28 kickoff, free Christmas in the City events will continue on three consecutive Friday evenings:


WIVK Christmas Parade
7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5
Gay Street

Be festive during the annual WIVK Christmas Parade, presented by Advanced Office Systems. See all of the different decorated floats, marching bands and dancers, and watch for Santa Claus.

The parade begins on Church Avenue at Hall of Fame Drive and will parade down Church to Gay Street, Gay Street to Jackson Avenue, then Jackson Avenue to Morgan Street.

Sponsors are WIVK, Advanced Office Systems and WVLT-TV Channel 8.

Comcast Christmas at Chilhowee
6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12
Chilhowee Park

This free event includes a traditional lighting of a tree on the park’s bandstand. Enjoy live music, and build a gingerbread house Austin-East Magnet High School’s Culinary Arts Department.

Comcast Christmas at Chilhowee also offers train rides for all ages, pictures with Santa Claus, marshmallow roasting, hot cocoa by the Salvation Army, face painting and balloon animals. Stop by The Muse Knoxville tent for a special activity.

Sponsors are Comcast, WVLT-TV Channel 8, 93.1 WNOX, Krispy Kreme, Cheerwine, The Muse Knoxville and the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Tour de Lights Bike Ride

7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19

This fun, free, casual five-mile bike ride – starting at Market Square and including decorated bicycles and riders – has become one of Knoxville's favorite holiday traditions.

Decoration judging begins at 6 p.m.; prizes are awarded after the ride in several categories, including Best Decorated Bike, Best Decorated Person, and Best Group Theme. The ride tours downtown, Fourth and Gill and Old North Knoxville. Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market provide hot cocoa and cookies for participants.  Helmets and headlights are required, and all ages and skill levels welcome.

For more information, visit