The Christmas spirit will fill downtown Greeneville Friday as Main Street: Greeneville’s annual holiday event returns with activities for all ages.
“Christmas in Downtown — A Holiday Celebration,” sponsored by Main Street, will feature the Christmas tree lighting at the Greene County Courthouse, caroling, holiday music, pictures with Santa Claus, extended hours for merchants and attractions downtown, wagon rides and an outdoor movie.
The evening’s events will begin at 5:30 p.m. with candlelight, music and caroling on the County Courthouse lawn, according to a release from Main Street: Greeneville. The Tusculum View Elementary School Chorus, under the direction of Jessica Ricker, will present their Christmas program at 5:40 p.m. and ask the crowd to join them in singing holiday favorites such as, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Jingle Bells”, “Deck the Halls”, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Silent Night” while awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, who will light the Community Christmas tree at 6 p.m.
Santa, accompanied by the Nolachuckey Elementary School Builder’s Club and South Key Club elves and the “Winter and Company Snowflake Fairies,” will board the hay wagon and travel to Greeneville Town Hall for the lighting of the Christmas tree there. The crowd will carol their way to the corner of Church and College Streets, where the Town Hall tree is located, for the ceremony and sweet treats, the release stated.
Christmas music will be a constant throughout the festivities. The Union Free Will Baptist Church Youth will perform at the courthouse beginning at 6:15 p.m. Gosnell’s Music will provide holiday tunes for those wandering down Depot Street.
The Tusculum University Jazz Band, under the direction of David Price, will be performing in the lobby of the General Morgan Inn. Visitors can fend off the winter chill with some warm beverages in the lobby as they listen to the performance.
After the tree lighting ceremonies, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos inside the former George R. Lane building at 130 W. Depot St., assisted by the Nolachuckey Elementary School Builders Club and South Greene Key Club.
The color photos, compliments of local photographer Tim Shaw, will be emailed to parents or guardians, according to the release.
Children can also enjoy storytelling, writing a letter to Santa and coloring activities while they wait or after they have their photo taken.
The wall of the Dixie Cleaners building on East Church Street will become a giant outdoor movie screen for the showing of “The Santa Clause 3” at 7:15 p.m. This free, family-friendly Disney film is provided by Greeneville Dental Associates and Trey Youngblood Insurance.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and beverages will be available for purchase from the youth of First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville as a fundraiser for mission projects.
Downtown attractions will also be open special hours, the release stated. The Andrew Johnson Homestead, located on South Main Street, will welcome the holidays with candlelight tours of the home provided by the National Park Service beginning at 5 p.m. with hot cider and cookies afterwards.
The Nolichuckey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolutin House on West McKee Street, former home of Margaret Johnson Patterson Bartlett, Andrew Johnson’s great granddaughter, will once again be offering free tours with punch and cookies for visitors. Tours will be given from 6-8 p.m., and admission is free.
The City Garage Car Museum, 210 S. Main St., will have an open house with free admission from 5-8 p.m. The museum will be decked out with holiday decorations throughout its classic car exhibits.
The Greeneville Public Works Department will continue its tradition of providing holiday wagon rides in downtown during the evening. There will be three loading areas — mid-block on East Church Street near the outdoor movie, mid-block of West Depot Street near the former George R. Lane building, and on South Main Street near City Garage Car Museum.
Live “Rein-de-llamas,” provided by Walnut Ridge Llama Farm, will be on the front lawn at First Presbyterian Church on North Main Street. Visitors can also shop for llama fiber sock and hats.
Children are encouraged to make magic reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer and memories for years to come with Ethan Myers of Myers Farms while shopping for fresh Greene County mistletoe at the church, the release stated. Fresh kettle corn and homemade fudge will be available Grandview Acres will also be located there serving up homemade breads, jams and holiday treats.
Merchants downtown will open for shopping and dining, including Glory Days Greeneville, Greeneville Credit Jewelers, Greeneville Antique Market, Art Space 4 Gallery, Brolin & Bailey Company, Forever Kreations, Pritchard Designs, Richland Creek Corner Creations, Sweet Peas, Towne Square Shopping Center, Towne Square Package Store and the General Morgan Inn.
While strolling down West Depot Street, enjoy holiday scenes painted on storefront windows by Greeneville High School art students and volunteers. Main Street appreciates the property owners who allowed use of the buildings, the release stated. Sponsors of the artwork are Rogers Dental, Lowe’s, Valspar, Pizza Hut, Premium Waters, Peggy Ann Bakery, Pizza Inn, and General Morgan Inn
Brumley’s at the General Morgan Inn, Catalyst Coffee Company, The Coffee Barrel, and Tipton’s Café will all be open. A barbecue meal and hotdogs will be available at Asbury United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall from 4:30-7 p.m.
The First Presbyterian Church’s Youth will have a mobile site on Main Street for their hamburgers and hot dogs.
Custom-designed, hand-painted ornaments will be available at stands along Main Street, according to the release. All four designs — Historic Downtown, The Capitol Theatre, The Dickson-Williams Mansion and Andrew Johnson montage — along with “Kaleidoscope,” a limited edition print by local artist Carol Chilton, will be on sale at a booth inside the former George R Lane building. Proceeds from the sales benefit Main Street: Greeneville’s efforts downtown.