Downtown Knoxville will shimmer like a scene from a classic Christmas movie when Mayor Madeline Rogero leads the countdown to light the lights and kick off Regal Celebration of Lights at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at the Krutch Park Extension stage at Gay Street.
The Wild Things will perform ’60s-style pop starting at 5:30 p.m. in advance of the 6 p.m. lighting ceremony, emceed by WATE Channel 6’s Bo Williams and Tearsa Smith. Mayor Rogero will welcome some special guests, including Dorothy Smith, who founded Christmas in the City 40 years ago, and a certain bearded man in a red suit.
In addition to the 42-foot-tall tree with 5,000 multi-colored, energy-efficient, synchronized LED lights, approximately 100,000 tiny bulbs will shine across downtown, illuminating a festive evening of family-friendly activities.
Sponsors of Regal Celebration of Lights include the City of Knoxville, Regal Entertainment, Pilot Flying J, WDVX, WATE Channel 6, 93.1 WNOX, Home Depot, the Knoxville News Sentinel, Salvation Army, and Cheerwine.
Holidays on Ice, presented by Home Federal Bank, will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, beginning another season of open-air ice-skating in Market Square. The rink will be open daily, weather permitting, except for Christmas Day. Hours vary, so visit KnoxvillesHolidaysOnIce.com or call 865-215-4423 to confirm. Admission ($11 adults, $8 children 12 years and younger) includes skate rental and sales tax.
Holidays on Ice sponsors include the City of Knoxville, Home Federal Bank, Pilot Flying J, Regal Entertainment, AT&T, WBIR Channel 10, B97.5, the Knoxville News Sentinel, Holston Gases, and the Knoxville Ice Bears.
WDVX’s Holiday Ho Ho Hoedown begins at 6:30 p.m. on the Market Square stage, featuring music by Knoxville bands Guy Marshall and Night Colors.
Downtown visitors should keep an eye out for Peppermint Window Wonderland displays, as well as opportunities to taste seasonal goodies at businesses offering Peppermint Trail treats and specials.
Also beginning Friday is the 2017 Elf on the Shelf Adventure scavenger hunt. Visit any of the many downtown businesses participating to pick up a North Pole Pass, and collect store stamps when you spy the elves on their shelves. Participants who get 20 or more stamps will qualify to win grand prizes of downtown merchandise and gift cards. Share your Elf sightings on social media by tagging your posts #elvesinknox.
Merchants participating in Peppermint Trail and Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt activities are listed at DowntownKnoxville.org/holiday.
All Christmas in the City events and updates are posted on the City of Knoxville’s website: www.knoxvilletn.gov/christmas.