Christmas in the Park: Tree-lighting, Santa House, carriage rides

Posted By | November 26, 2019 7:21 am

Holiday magic is just a few days away in Cookeville.

It starts Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. with the city’s fifth annual Christmas in the Park Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Celebration Service at Dogwood Park.

“People say it’s like a Hallmark movie,” Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said. “You’re there to celebrate with your family while enjoying the special singing and Christmas tree.”

Thousands are expected to gather with Santa around the nearly 40-foot-tall community Christmas tree.

Rick Woods, Cookeville Leisure Services director, said, “The atmosphere is filled with excitement and energy as young and old alike await the lighting of the tree.”

A special surprise guest will be there, too. Then the sky will light up with a fireworks show.

The Christmas Celebration Service will feature musical performances by The Smoky Nights, Dezirey Simono, Marc Burnett, Voices of Life Church and the choruses of Capshaw, Cane Creek, Prescott, Sycamore, Jere Whitson and Northeast elementary schools.

The event concludes around 7 p.m. with a 15-minute Christmas tree light show synchronized to holiday music – a show that will continue nightly throughout the holiday season at the top of the hour from 5-9 p.m.

Christmas in the Park will also include several opportunities – days and nights – to enjoy free carriage and wagon rides around the Christmas tree, as well as free visits with Santa inside his little red Santa House. (Bring a camera to capture the smiles.)

Times for both activities are Dec. 6-7, 5-8 p.m.; Dec. 8, 3-6 p.m.; Dec. 13, 5-8 p.m.; Dec. 14, 2-5 p.m.; Dec. 15, 3-6 p.m.; and Dec. 20, 5-8 p.m.

Carriage and wagon riders will line up along the grand sidewalk inside Dogwood Park on the Broad Street side. The Santa House will be located behind the Cookeville History Museum at 40 E. Broad St.

“The carriage rides bring a sort of old-time feel to the holiday season and give families an opportunity create a special holiday memory at Dogwood Park,” Woods said. “Also, we love the fact that Santa comes to Cookeville to visit with area children to get their wish lists for Christmas.”

Shelton said Christmas in the Park, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, takes teamwork.

“I can’t say enough about Leisure Services,” he said. “They’re instrumental in putting the tree up, putting the decorations out, and helping to man and facilitate carriage rides and Santa House.”

Christmas in the Park activities are free to the public thanks to the following sponsors: Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Averitt Express, Twin Lakes, Rogers Group, REP TN, Cavity Commandos, Coke, Vulcan Materials, First National Bank, Ford Lincoln of Cookeville, Lite Rock 95.9, 106.9 Kicks Country, Rock 93.7 and News Talk 94.1.

For more information, call 931-520-4386.

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