Several families have already put up their decorations, some even before Thanksgiving, but to many, it is not time for lights and tinsel until the downtown Cleveland Christmas tree is lit.That will …
Several families have already put up their decorations, some even before Thanksgiving, but to many, it is not time for lights and tinsel until the downtown Cleveland Christmas tree is lit.
That will take place on Friday evening, one of the many events scheduled in Cleveland to begin the yuletide season.
Both Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis and Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland will give Christmas greetings to those who attend the event, leading the way for Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus to appear, and help light the tree. As it has been for several years, the Christmas tree is at the Bradley County Courthouse Annex on Broad Street.
The First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir will kick off the evening of music with a performance on the annex steps, leading the way for several churches in downtown Cleveland to perform "reverse caroling." Rather than choirs coming to homes or businesses that evening, those at the Christmas tree lighting will then walk to churches near the Courthouse Annex and hear choirs at these churches since Christmas tunes.
The churches involved in the "reverse caroling" include Broad Street United Methodist Church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, and the Lee University carolers will be performing at Pangle Hall, The "reverse caroling" will end at the Courthouse Plaza with the finale by the North Cleveland Baptist Church Santuary Choir.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the bandstand Friday evening to greet children and pose for photographs. The Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Elementary Chorus will perform near the bandstand, and there will be free carriage rides around the courthouse square until 8 p.m.
Then, on Saturday, the annual Christmas parade will travel through downtown Cleveland, on its traditional route. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, and begin and end at Bradley Central High School.
The route again for the parade is north on South Lee Highway from BCHS, then east on Third Street, north on Ocoee Street, around the monument where Ocoee and Broad streets converge, then south on Broad Street to Inman Street, where it will turn west back to South Lee Highway, then on to Bradley Central.
But the Christmas tree lighting, "reverse caroling," and downtown parade are not the only events this weekend. On Sunday, the Lee University School of Music presents its 28th annual "A Classic Christmas." The event begins at 3 p.m. in the Conn Center, and while free to the public, tickets are needed. However, for those who did not get tickets, they will be unable to be at the concert as all seating is taken.
The event will be featured in a live online stream on the Lee University website (www.leeuniversity.edu).
And, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Museum Center at Five Points will host the Christmas Open House and Artist Showcase, with over 30 artists showcasing original artwork, pottery, jewelry, paintings, hand-blown glass, hand-woven towels and rugs, honey products, candles, and literature. Much of the art on display will also be available for sale, and admission to the Open House/Showcase is free to the public.
So, if not in the Christmas mood yet, visiting any of the events downtown should help bring the spirit of Christmas to everyone's hearts.
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