BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
A cold drizzle didn't put a damper on Christmas spirits during this year's annual "Christmas in Downtown" events, sponsored by Main Street: Greeneville.
Many events were quickly relocated inside after a brief downpour, and most activities continued despite being relocated.
Before the rain began, piano students of Deane Gray and Pam Thacker performed holiday classics, followed by a performance of The Tusculum View Chorus, under the direction of Jessica Ricker.
Then, four tiny "Winter and Company Snowflake Fairies" joined Father Christmas, portrayed by Greg Isom, in the lighting of the Community Christmas tree on the Greene County Courthouse lawn.
Anthony Cope, 4, insisted on sitting on his father's shoulders to make sure he didn't miss a moment of the festivities.
It took Father Christmas three times dancing around the tree, four hits with his magic staff and a couple of kicks for good measure before the tree lit up.
The crowd of at least 200 aided the endeavor with screams of "Merry Christmas!"
Later, the Greeneville Department of Parks and Recreaction and the Greeneville Department of Public Works provided a hay ride to transport much of the crowd from the courthouse to Greeneville Town Hall for the lighting of the Christmas tree there.
Children gathered with Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels by the live Norwegian Spruce, which officials quickly lit as the downpour came.
Many in the crowd darted into Greeneville Town Hall for cookies, cocoa and caroling by vocalist Carol Susong and friends.
The tree was donated by Main Street: Greeneville through a landscaping endowment in honor of Shane Matthews and his family -- his wife, Kristy; their son, Cole; Shane Matthews' mother, Gayle; and his late father, Jim Mondro Matthews.
Shane Matthews and his father planted the last live tree at town hall 20 years ago, and this year Shane Matthews was joined by his son, Cole.
On Main Street, Christmas lights shone through shop windows and, inside the General Morgan Inn, the Tusculum College Jazz Band could be heard playing the classics under the direction of David Price.
Across the street, inside First Presbyterian Church, Santa was available to hear Christmas wishes, and the Walnut Ridge Llama Farm aided children in making magic food for Santa's reindeer.
Ethan Myers of Myers Pumpkin Patch was also there with fresh mistletoe.
The screening of "Elf," sponsored by TEVET, also moved into the church from its planned outdoor showing.
The Andrew Johnson Homestead hosted candlelight tours that Carl and Pam Leisner said were "beautifully decorated" and "very period."
The Nathanael Greene Museum also opened its doors for the Christmas occasion, hosting the 1860s Living History and Dance Society's Civil War Christmas Ball in the gymnasium of The Andrew Johnson Complex.