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25 Things to Do During the Holidays in Knoxville and Surrounding Areas - 2012

Christmas tree lightings, music performances by outstanding choral groups, ice skating on Market Square, -- just the beginning of many things to do during the holidays in Knoxville and surrounding areas.

1. Holiday Festivals
fall foliage

lost mill string band

oconaluftee holiday homecoming

December 8-24
Christmas in Old Appalachia at the Museum of Appalachia
The simple joys of an old-fashioned Christmas await Museum of Appalachia visitors through December 24th. Recalling times past when Christmas was a simple family holiday, cabins will be decorated in pioneer style with cedar Christmas trees draped in paper chains, popcorn strings, sweet gum and sycamore balls.

December 8
Festival of Christmas Past in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Sugarlands Visitor Center is the place and Saturday, December 8th, is the date for Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 37th annual Festival of Christmas Past. From 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this free event will feature old-time mountain music, harp singing, old-time crafts demonstrations, and a Christmas Memories Walk. Read more >>

December 15
Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional craft demonstrations from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Children and adults will have the opportunity to make a corn shuck doll, buzz button, and cinnamon ornament to take home. Visitors will be encouraged to make a cinnamon ornament to hang on the visitor center tree for years to come.

An acoustic old time jam session will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a focus on holiday music. "Musical expression was and still is often a part of daily life in the southern mountains, and mountain music is strongly tied to the Smokies history and culture," said Lynda Doucette, Supervisory Park Ranger, Oconaluftee Visitor Center. She continued, "We would like to invite musicians to play traditional Appalachian tunes such as gospel songs and traditional ballads as they were played on the porches in the old days." Read more >>

November 7, 2012 - February 28, 2013
Smoky Mountain Winterfest
A Smoky Mountain Christmas is a Christmas to remember. Magnificent parades, craft shows, sleighrides, trolley tours, Christmas on Ice at Ober Gatlinburg, and many other events make this holiday season one to remember for a lifetime.

2. Holiday Train Rides & Dinner Cruises
The Polar Express is a 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion that comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. November 9 - December 29, 2012.

The Scenic CityScenic Excursion Train rides in Oak Ridge TN are December 1, 2, 8, and 9.

The Christmas Express on Three Rivers Rambler. Catch a ride this holiday season on the Three Rivers Rambler's "Christmas Express." Passengers will be served refreshments & Santa will board the train to pass out gifts on this 90 min. 11 mile round trip. Departs from Volunteer Landing & follows the Tennessee River to Marbledale Quarry.

One of the most popular train rides, North Pole Limited train ride has been a family tradition since 1999. During the magical holiday season, trains take riders on an imaginary journey to the North Pole. Along the way, you'll be treated to refreshments, storytelling, and sing-a-longs. As the train gently rolls down the rails, a number of lighted displays can be seen outside. Once the train pulls into the "North Pole," a special guest boards for a visit. During the return ride, Santa makes his way through the train cars to greet every child and presents a keepsake item to all the children.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum operates special Holiday Dinner Trains for the Christmas season. The trips will include a four-course dining experience on board a restored 1924 dining car. The excursion trains will depart from Grand Junction Station at 6:00 pm in the evening, traveling at a leisurely pace through portions of urban East Chattanooga before reversing direction and returning to Grand Junction. The travel time is just right for the complete meal on a vintage dining car.

December 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 2012 - Enjoy a fabulous holiday buffet dinner cruise down the Tennessee River aboard the luxury yacht Volunteer Princess. Enjoy the fine cuisine prepared on board and served buffet style as you cruise past Neyland Stadium and gaze upon the beautiful homes in Sequoyah Hills in which Knoxville is so famous for.

Location: Knoxville Waterfront

3. Cookie Bake for First Responders and Public Servants
cookie bake
Surprise your local first responders and public servants with a batch of homemade cookies. Firemen, policemen, first responders, hospital staff -- those who are there to help and protect us. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.

Organize a group of adults or children and plan a day to bake cookies and deliver them to your local fire station, police station, or hospital. It is probably a good idea to contact them ahead of time to let them know you will be delivering the cookies.

4. Christmas Parades
christmas parade float
Knoxville and surrounding areas enjoy putting on some of the best Christmas parades in the South. Floats, high school marching bands, dancers, local celebrities and a special appearance by Santa Claus are highlights of the parades.

Knoxville's WIVK/Fowler Christmas Parade is on December 7, 2012 on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. The parade begins at 7:00 p.m.

Gatlinburg's 37th annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade The parade will include more than 100 parade entries, over a dozen marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama, and giant helium balloons taking to the streets. Friday, December 7, 7:30 p.m.

Fountain City Christmas Parade is on December 1 at 10:00 a.m. The Optimist Club of Knoxville's Annual Fountain City Christmas Parade will begin at the intersection of Broadway & Tazewell and end at Central Baptist Church. The parade will include marching bands, school groups, scouts and many floats. There will be a special appearance by Santa Claus.

The Lenoir City Christmas Parade is December 1, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. Parade starts at 100 Yale Ave., Lenoir City.

Sevierville's 50th Annual Christmas Parade - A traditional hometown parade with baton twirlers, pageant winners, marching bands and floats leading up to the appearance of the Grand Marshal-Santa Claus! Parade begins at 11am on December 1, 2012 and can best be viewed on Forks of the River Parkway and Court Avenue in historic downtown Sevierville.

Townsend, TN presents its annual Christmas parade on December 5th. The theme this year is "A Vintage Christmas". 2:30 p.m.

The city of Oliver Springs will have its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 15. The parade will start at 5:30pm at Arrowhead Park and will follow the traditional parade route through town.

5. Movies, Plays, & Special Performances
christmas movies
On December 2, see It's A Wonderful Life at the Tennessee Theatre! Admission is FREE for this family event. No ticket is required, but seating is limited to the theatre's capacity. Released in 1947 and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, "It's a Wonderful Life" is a bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey, a compassionate but debt-ridden manager of a bank in typical small-town America, and the angel that helps him realize his importance in the world. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards and ranks No. 20 on the American Film Institute's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.

The Hobbitt opens in theatres on Friday, December 14. The Hobbit is a film trilogy consisting of three epic fantasy-adventure films directed, co-written and produced by Peter Jackson and based on J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Hobbit.

December 21 and 22
Holiday Film: White Christmas at The Tennessee Theatre
This holiday film will be sure to entertain you with music and romance for the holidays. Watch Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in this classic film at the historic Tennessee Theatre.
Friday: 8:00 p.m., Saturday: 2:00 p.m.
Adults: $8.00, Children 12 and under & seniors 60 and over: $6. Service fees ($1/ticket) will be added to all phone and web orders.

November 29 through December 23
An All-New "A Christmas Carol" on the Clarence Brown Mainstage
Celebrate the holiday and recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with the timeless Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol" at the Clarence Brown Theatre. This year's production features new costumes, a new set, musicians on stage, a cast of 30 and lots and lots of SNOW!! Tickets for children 12 and under are $10! The production is sponsored by the main stage series sponsor, Schaad Companies and also Pilot Travel Centers and the Arts and Heritage Fund. Media sponsors are WBIR, Comcast, WUOT, WUTK, Knoxville News Sentinel, East TN PBS, and B97.5.

"A Christmas Carol" is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, whose ghostly journey and transformation through Christmas past, present and future is among the most beloved stories in western literature.

Described by Dickens as his "little Christmas Book," "A Christmas Carol" was first published in December 1843. The story was instantly successful, selling over 6,000 copies in one week. It has since been republished countless times and adapted into scores of stage and screen adaptations. It remains one of literatures' most enduring and often-quoted stories of hope, triumph, and communal spirit.
Director Casey Sams is an Associate Professor at UT where she works in both the Graduate and Undergraduate programs teaching Movement and Acting. In addition to this production, Casey's Clarence Brown Theatre projects this year include choreography for "Sweeney Todd" and "On the Razzle." She also has directed, choreographed or movement coached at such theatres as The Round House Theatre (DC), The Utah Shakespearean Festival, PlayMakers Rep (Chapel Hill), North Carolina Stage Company (Asheville), Virginia Stage Company (Norfolk), Knoxville Opera Company, and Vermont Stage Company (Burlington).

December 7 and 8
A Chorus Line at The Tennessee Theatre
For 17 dancers, this audition is the chance of a lifetime. It's the one opportunity to do what they've always dreamed - to have the chance to dance. This is A CHORUS LINE, the musical for everyone who's ever had a dream and put it all on the line. Winner of nine Tony Awards, including "Best Musical" and the Pulitzer Prize for drama, the singular sensation for an all new tour. Come meet the new generation of Broadway's best.
Friday: 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
$77.00, $67.00, $52.00 and $37 plus applicable service fees

December 14 and 15
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
A Christmas Comedy for the Whole Family
The WordPlayers, in collaboration with The Arts at Pellissippi State, presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Performances are at Clayton Performing Arts Center on the main campus of Pellissippi State Community College, 10915 Hardin Valley Rd., Knoxville, TN. Tickets: $5-$12. For reservations, call (865) 694-6684 or visit

This delightful comedy for all ages presents a new spin on an old story. Grace Bradley faces a disastrously-fated Christmas pageant or no Christmas pageant at all when the usual director is hospitalized. Her perseverance brings together ill-behaved but creative children to tell the story of Christmas in a fresh, engaging manner—and with a few additions!

nutcrackerDecember 1 and 2, Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker -- Emelianov's Great Russian Nutcracker is acclaimed for exquisite dancing & spectacular sets & costumes. Whimsical & imaginative storytelling, blend with richness of Russian classical dance. Dec. 1 at 8:00 pm and Dec. 2 at 2:00pm at Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville TN.

The Nutcracker. The Appalachian Ballet Company in their 41st season will present the annual holiday tradition - The Nutcracker. The production features live music by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. The Appalachian Ballet Company will present four public shows December 1st at 8 pm & December 2nd at 2 pm at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium AND December 8th at 2pm and 8pm at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville. Two school matinees will be presented at 10 am at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium on November 29th and 30th. Those attending will receive the new K-8 curriculum guide covering common core standards. Teachers may call 982-8463 for reservations.

Dancing the role of the Nutcracker Prince will be Aaron Smyth, formerly with the Royal Ballet, London, England. He will be partnering ballerina Kylie Morton, the Sugarplum Fairy, formerly with North Carolina Dance Theatre.

For over 100 years, this classic story has proven to be a favorite, enchanting audiences of all ages. Come see the magic with lavish scenery, glorious tutus, soldiers, snowflakes and sugar plums at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium or The Clayton Center for the Arts ˆ the first and second weekend of December. For tickets call ABC at 865-982-8463 or Knox Tickets 865-656-4444 or Clayton Center 865-981-8590.

December 1 and 2, Absurd Person Singular - a play by Alan Ayckbourn at Theatre Knoxville Downtown
Knoxville's longest running non-academic theatre presents Alan Ayckbourn's play, Absurd Person Singular, for its holiday production. The play follows the lives of 3 couples in their kitchens on Christmas Eve of three consecutive years. The wild comedy of Christmas party disasters also contains the dark thread of the advance of the "lower class" Hopcrofts and the decline of their other two wealthier couples. This British play walks a swerving path from comedy to farce. Sat. 8:00 p.m. $15, Sun. 3:00 p.m $10.

December 2 - Hanging of the Green at First Baptist Church Knoxville
This service explains the meaning of the decorations and symbols used in the Christmas trappings which adorn our sanctuary during Advent and Christmas. Beautiful music and carols are interspersed with symbolic explanation. Admission is free and open to the public. 6:30 p.m.

December 4-8, Nutcracker on Ice. "The Nutcracker" is performed on ice. Skaters of all ages set the holiday mood with a festive pond skating scene, followed by the story of a young girl and a magical Christmas night. The music of Tchaikovsky is brought to life by the gliding, spinning, & jumping skills of 100+ skaters in this theatrical production. 7:00pm; Dec. 12 2:00 and 7:00 pm, Ice Chalet.

8. Knoxville Nativity Pageant
knoxville nativity pageant
December 2, 3, 4.
44th Annual Knoxville Nativity Pageant -- The Nativity Pageant is one of the largest all-volunteer community Christmas Pageants in the US. The production will feature live animals, realistic sets, authentic costumes, & an original script told by way of a pantomime drama. Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

9. Holiday Choral Performances
central high school choir knoxville
December 3
Mighty Musical Monday with Central High School Choir at The Tennessee Theatre
The guest performers for the James A. Dick Mighty Musical Monday Program will be the Central High School Chorus. In addition to the singing performers, Bill Snyder and Freddie Brabson will play selections on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Tickets will be available at the October and November Mighty Musical Monday programs, and in the Clinch Avenue box office. 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. Free admission; ticket required.

November 23 & 24
Winter Magic Tunes & Tales
Every Friday and Saturday evening through the holiday season, visitors can enjoy a capella caroling along the Parkway during this fifth annual event! Downtown Gatlinburg.

November 28
Church Street United Methodist's Advent Noonday Recital/Service
Admission is free and open to the public. Advent noonday services provide a time of meditation and preparation for Christmas Day. The recital will be performed by area musicians and soloists. The meditation will be led by pastors. Recital begins at 11:40 a.m. Service at 12:00 noon.

December 3
The Orchestra at Maryville College & Community Chorus Holiday Concert
The Orchestra at Maryville College, led by conductor Bill Robinson, and the Community Chorus, under the direction of Alan Eleazer, will come together for a holiday concert at the Ronald And Lynda Nutt Theatre. The chorus will be performing an eclectic blend of Christmas music from the masters, such as J.S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and George Handel and many other traditional and well-known carols. 7:30 p.m.

$10 for adults
$8 for seniors who are 60 and older
$5 for students.
Tickets are $5 with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy for the "Toys for Blount County" campaign.

The performance is free to MC faculty, students and staff with ID, although a printed ticket is required for admission.

December 8
"A Neighborly Christmas"
Presented by Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors at US Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre. 8:00 p.m.
Singer-guitarist Drew Holcomb is a songwriter and performer. In the past four years, he has logged in more than 500 concert dates across the country from solo coffeehouse gigs to clubs, festivals, and colleges with his band, the Neighbors. He has also opened for Marc Broussard, Sister Hazel, and the North Mississippi Allstars, to name a few.
$16.50 advance / $19.50 at the door + applicable service fees

December 9
Concert Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
In the finest style of King's College in Cambridge, England, the First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir will be joined by area instrumentalists for a glorious evening of festive singing combined with the prophetic and heartwarming Scriptures of the birth of Christ. Members of the Knoxville City and community will be asked to be the readers of the Scriptures and the music will be performed after each reading. Childcare for preschoolers through age 5. 6:30 PM, doors open 6 PM. The public is invited.

December 9
Lessons and Carols Service at Redeemer Church of Knoxville
Two services of lessons and carols: Lessons and readings that tell the story of how and why God came to earth. Carols and music that captures the drama of this great story; the darkness and the light, the fears and the hopes, the humility and the glory.

December 3-14
Songs of the Season
Holiday music program at McGhee Tyson Airport. Area schools & local choral groups will perform holiday classics. 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. A complete schedule will be posted at

December 8, 9, 10
The Living Christmas Tree features a 240 voice choir, 60 piece orchestra & a drama cast of 300. Come celebrate our 20th year at this 2-hour family oriented performance, which incorporates sounds of Christmas along with Biblical drama, animals, & special effects. Free tickets required for admission; groups welcome. Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets may be ordered online at or by calling 865-251-1658.

December 19 - Joy: An Irish Christmas
Join acclaimed Irish singer/songwriters and recording artists Keith and Kristyn Getty for an unforgettable celebration of Christmas. Among the preeminent modern hymn composers of this generation, the husband-wife team presents a spectacular evening of beloved carols, modern hymns, and spirited Irish reels and jigs that capture the wonder and beauty of Christmas. Their Christmas tour, a highlight of the holiday season for audiences across the country, grew out of the Gettys' celebrated album, Joy--An Irish Christmas. Accompanied by some of the top musicians in Irish and American folk music, the couple puts their fresh interpretation on familiar Christmas classics and shares their own original carols. After each show, the festivities will continue as band members offer additional live music in the foyer.

10. Christmas in the City
christmas in the city
The holidays are filled with activities within the city of Knoxville. Tree lightings, choral concerts, symphonies, parades, holiday home tours, and light tours are all family events.

Enjoy holiday shopping extravanzas at the many unique shops inside the city. Market Square District offers a variety of fun things to do and tasty places to eat and just hang out.

For more information on Knoxville's annual Christmas in the City visit

11. Holiday Train Rides & Dinner Cruises
volunteer princess cruise
December 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 2012 - Enjoy a fabulous holiday buffet dinner cruise down the Tennessee River aboard the luxury yacht Volunteer Princess. Enjoy the fine cuisine prepared on board and served buffet style as you cruise past Neyland Stadium and gaze upon the beautiful homes in Sequoyah Hills in which Knoxville is so famous for.

Location: Knoxville Waterfront

12. Symphony and Band Concerts
comcast christmas

clayton holiday concert
November 30
Comcast Christmas at Chilhowee.
Visit a magical winter wonderland at Chilhowee Park. Local high school bands will perform Christmas carols, have a free picture with Santa Claus in the gazebo, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, roast marshmallows in the fire pit & take a carriage ride throughout the park to see the magical Christmas lights. 6:00pm-8:00pm, Chilhowee Park.

December 14, 15, 16
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra 26th Annual Clayton Holiday Concert.
Lucas Richman conducts the 26th annual Clayton Holiday Concerts which feature the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Choral Society, Sound Company Children's Choir and Go! Contemporary Dance Works, Inc.. The whole family will delight in this holiday tradition featuring beloved songs, carols and heartwarming hits from "White Christmas," "Miracle on 34th Street" and more in "A Tribute to Broadway."

Be sure to catch this spectacular event and even a special visit from Santa Claus himself in one of four performances on Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday December 15 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday December 16 at 3:00 p.m.

December 2
Jazz for Tots
In conjunction with U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" Campaign, admission is a new unwrapped toy per person which will be a gift to a less fortunate child on Christmas morning. Cash donations will also be accepted, which will be used toward the purchase of a new toy. 7:00pm, James R. Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Bldg.

December 2
Knoxville Community Band Christmas Concert at Bijou Theatre
Kick back, relax, and start off the holiday season with musical classics sure to fill listeners with Christmas cheer. The Knoxville Community Band consists of more than 40 musicians who have participated in high school, college, and professional bands, performing a variety of light classical and festive songs. 3:00 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

December 14
Alive After Five at Knoxville Museum of Art
"Alive After Five" presents a "Holiday Dance Party" featuring The Streamliners Swing Orchestra with special guest R.B. Morris. Seating, cash bars, a dance floor, and food will be available, all within the casually elegant atmosphere of the museum's Great Hall. 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. $12

December 18
Merrill Lynch presents a Swingin' Christmas with multi-instrumentalist James Morrison.
The hippest concert of the season! Classic Christmas favorites performed in the styles of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton and more. This year's featured guest should be listed as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. An Australian by birth, James Morrison plays 12 different instruments, composes music in a variety of genres (e.g., the opening fanfare for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney) and owns and operates one of Australia's most technologically advanced recording studios.

13. Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland
shadrack's christmas wonderland
November 9, 2012 - January 6, 2013
Shadrack Watersports & RV presents Christmas Wonderland! This award-winning drive-through light and music show is the largest of its kind in the country

Featuring hundreds of thousands of LED lights dynamically synchronized and dancing to the music, this experience is sure to be something you and your family won't soon forget! Check web site for admission prices and times.

14. Holiday Open House in District Bearden
November 30, December 1 - Holiday Open House in District Bearden
Celebrate the holidays with The District in Bearden’s 5th Annual Holiday Open House. Food will be provided. Special events & shopping on Saturday, Dec. 1. Start the holiday season with special gift ideas from each of the many shops in The District.

15. Knoxville's Holidays on Ice
shadrack's christmas wonderland
November 23, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Market Square & Krutch Park
• Market Square
• Mon. - Thurs.: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
• Fri. & Sat.: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
• Sun.: 1 p.m. - 10 p.m.
• Christmas Day: Closed
Knoxville's only outdoor ice rink is open every day. Daily admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children under 12 years of age. Admission price includes skates & unlimited time on ice. Season passes & group rates available.
16. Art Shows & Exhibitions
November 16 - December 19
The Fountain City Art Guild Annual Holiday Show
Also showing: Gibbs area Knox County Schools student artwork
The Fountain City Art Center, 213 Hotel Ave., Knoxville, TN 37918

November 21 - December 2
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Holiday Show
Unique handcrafted gifts made by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are offered as they host their annual show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

November 23 - January 13, 2013
Seventh Annual East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition
Presented by the Knoxville Museum of Art and the Tennessee Art Education Association, the exhibition features artwork created by middle and high school students and offers students the opportunity to display their talents and be honored for their accomplishments in a professional art museum environment. This event is made possible by the generosity of presenting sponsor Regal Entertainment Group and additional sponsors Home Federal Bank, Emerson Process Management, and Carton Services Inc.

The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World's Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10 am–5 pm, and Sunday 1 pm-5 pm.

November 29-30, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm and December 1, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
8th Annual Santa Mouse Christmas House Arts and Crafts Show
Sponsored by Blount County Arts and Crafts Guild this event features 55 of the best and most unique artisans featuring quality handcrafted and fine art for holiday gifts in all price ranges. Children can have their photo taken with Santa for a donation of a toy. Live music and $1 raffle for 4 original paintings of "See Rock City Barns". Free admission and parking. Maryville College Alumni Gym next to the baseball field, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville.

December 7
Bliss Home presents Jennifer Simpson for December's First Friday
A reception will be held Friday, December 7 at 29 Market Square from 6pm to 9pm. Jennifer Simpson is a Knoxville based artist who uses a unique mixed media process to create one-of-a-kind art which captures her childhood recollections and current daydreams. Jennifer's art aims to evoke the inner-child in all of us, while getting the viewer to bring forth memories of a simpler, happier time.

December 7-21
The Arts & Culture Alliance presents its 2012 Members Show.
This is the largest annual exhibition of local artists in the Greater Knoxville area. The fresh mix of two- and three-dimensional works created within the last two years encompasses a wide variety of media such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, mixed media, photography, fine craft, sculpture, ceramics, fiber, and more from local artists who are all members of the Arts & Culture Alliance. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on display in both galleries of the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville from December 7-21, 2012, and an opening reception will take place as part of First Friday activities on December 7 from 5:00-9:00 PM with music by Pistol Creek Catch of the Day (featuring Alliance member Carl Gombert).

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM with additional hours on Saturday, December 8, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

December 7-31
Featured Artist Exhibit and Reception at Art Market Gallery
Art Market Gallery will present a special exhibit of recent works by Eric Gebhart (photography) and Elaine Barnes (pottery). The gallery will host an opening reception on December 7 with light refreshments and live music.
Monday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Reception (open to the public) Friday, December 7 from 5:30 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Admission is free and open to the public

December 8, 2012
ETHS Holiday Open House at East Tennessee History Center
Bring the family for Christmas fun! Ornament and craft-making for the kids, a visit by Victorian Santa, craft demonstrations, cookies and hot cider, holiday music by the Knoxville Choral Society, shopping discounts, free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History and more!
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.
17. Holiday Home Tours
holiday home tours

blount mansion christmas

mabry hazen christmas
December 1 and 2
24th Annual Historic Old North Knoxville Victorian Holiday Home Tour
Visit 10 historic homes decorated for the holidays in Old North Knoxville.

Tickets are available at Knoxville Kroger stores for $10 or on the days of the event in the ticket booth at Tennova's parking lot on Woodland Ave. Prices: adults $15, senior citizens $10 & children under 12 admitted free with an adult. Free parking will be offered at Tennova/St. Mary’s Woodland Ave. parking lot.

There will be free bus rides to all of the homes, or you may drive or walk through the historic neighborhood. Allow 2-3 hours to complete the tour. Old North Knoxville Neighborhood.

December 1-31
Holidays at Blount Mansion
The Blount Mansion will be decorated for the holiday season and special guided tours will be given throughout the month of December.

December 8 · 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Christmas Open House
Free Admission and Holiday Treats

December 8
Christmas Candlelight Tours and Stargazing at Marble Springs
Marble Springs State Historic Site is proud to present Christmas Candlelight Tours on Saturday, December 8th, from 4-8pm. A star gazing workshop will take place from 8- 10pm. Experience the historic site through the soft glow of candle light. The historic buildings will be decorated with fresh greenery. Music, open hearth cooking, baked goods & warm drinks will set your heart aglow with holiday spirit. Feel free to stay after the tours are over for the stargazing workshop, covering the topic of "alien moons." If the sky is clear, Jupiter and its moons will be observed.

Admission $2 donation for the Candlelight Tour, admission for the Stargazing workshop is free.

All activities take place at the Marble Springs State Historic Site: 1220 West Governor John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920.

December 9
Historic Ramsey House Annual Candle Light Tour
On Sunday December 9, 2012, Historic Ramsey House and their guests will be enjoying the Annual Candle Light Tour from 6pm until 8pm. Share the natural warmth and beauty of the holiday season at this beautiful 18th century home. There will be no admission fee for this event. Donations to support Ramsey House and its educational programming would be greatly appreciated. Ramsey House is located at 2614 Thorn Grove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914.

As you check into the Visitor's center you will hear holiday music provided by the lovely sounds of children's voices and violins. Enjoy holiday treats and hot mulled cider or coffee and take time to visit with friends and other Ramsey House members.

As you stroll up to the house along the candle lit path imagine the carriages and guests arriving in their best attire. Enter the kitchen and envision the hustle and bustle in the kitchen of many hands preparing food for the big event. Picture the Ramsey family and their friends around a festive table in the Great Hall or the quiet warmth of conversation in the Parlor. Upstairs you can imagine the children snuggled in their beds waiting for that very special gift that will be waiting for them in the morning. All in rooms aglow with the light of candles and the fragrance of natural greens used in decorations in that period.

December 14
Knoxville Museum of Art 18th annual Holiday Home Tour
Day Tours will be offered from 9:30am to 4:30pm and will include five homes plus a festive luncheon at Cherokee Country Club. The Knoxville residences are decorated for the season and will include several Sequoyah Hills classics, a fabulous lakefront estate, a top interiors designer's showplace, and a stunning custom-built home by presenting sponsor Schmid and Rhodes Construction. These homes combine innovative renovation, historic detail, great interior design, and distinguished architecture, all presented with creative holiday flare.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are $75 per person for the Day Tour. Visit the Holiday Home page at to reserve tickets online.

December 15 and 16
Mabry-Hazen House Hosts Annual Christmas Tours & Book Signing
The Mabry-Hazen House invites you to join us for our Annual Christmas Tours. Rooms and other areas will be decorated by well known Knoxville decorators including Samuel Franklin, The Flower Pot, Scott Morrell of Flowers, Pamela Deathridge, as well as volunteers and museum staff. The event is free of charge and light refreshments will be served. Christmas Tours are scheduled for Saturday, December 15th from 5-8pm and Sunday, December 16th from 2-5pm. On Saturday, local author Margery Weber Bensey will be signing copies of Park City: A Knoxville Neighborhood History, a perfect holiday gift for your local history enthusiast. The home will remain decorated and open for regular tours until December 20th.

18. Holiday Workshops
December 1
Candle Making Workshop at Marble Springs Historic Site
Marble Springs Historic Site will host a Candle Making Workshop Saturday, December 1 starting at 11 a.m. This hands on workshop will teach visitors about lighting sources of the 18th and 19th-centuries. Visitors will learn how to make beeswax candles by the open hearth. Hot drinks will be provided. Reservations are required. Fee: $10 for cost of materials.

All activities take place at the Marble Springs State Historic Site: 1220 West Governor John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920.

December 8
Wreath Making Workshop
Historic Ramsey House, 2614 Thorn Grove Pike in Knoxville, will be taking reservations for a Wreath Making Workshop starting at 12:30 p.m. Make your reservations now for this popular event as this class fills up quickly. Julia has gotten extra help this year so that we can expand our class to include pomanders and swags along with our traditional fresh green wreaths.

There will be hot mulled cider and holiday treats to welcome you between 12:30 and 1:00. The class will start promptly at one. As in the past you will be asked to provide your own garden gloves to protect your hands and your own garden shears (household scissors are not usually able to cut the heavy stems). If you have any favorite evergreens or berries from your yard that you want to add to your arrangement you are welcome to bring them. All other supplies are included in the $35 charge for the workshop.

For reservations, please call Ramsey House at 865-546-0745; Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

December 8
Gifts Made With Love at Knoxville Fine Arts and Crafts Center
Christmas is just around the corner! This class is perfect for students wishing to make their own handmade gifts to give. We will make, then wrap, four-unique gifts to give Mom, Dad, grandparents or friends. What we will be making in this class is a surprise â€" so no questions please! Encourage your children to share in the joy of giving from the heart! Pizza will be delivered for lunch so just bring your favorite drink or purchase from machine!
1127 B Broadway Avenue
9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
$50 - ages 7-12

19. Tour de Lights at Market Square
tour de lights
December 13
Join this fun bike tour of downtown, 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville. Riders are encouraged to get creative with lights, costumes and decorations for themselves and their bikes. Awards will be presented by a panel of celebrity judges in several categories.

Hot cocoa and treats provided before and after the ride by Mast General Store and Three Rivers Market.

Free bike safety checks begin at 6 p.m. Helmets are required as well as legal lights. 7 p.m., Krutch Park.
20. Holiday Festival of Lights
holiday festival of lights concord park
December 21-29
The Holiday Festival of Lights brightens the night with nearly 150,000 beautiful light displays creating a twinkling wonderland at The Cove at Concord Park. Horse-drawn wagons take you through the park on December 21, 22 and 23, (weather permitting). Christmas Eve and December 26-29, the park will be open for walking. The Cove will be closed Christmas Day.

Festivities will include bonfires for marshmallow roasting and vendors will be on site with kettle-corn, hot cocoa and coffee. Before Christmas, Santa will be there for photo opportunities. Holiday music from B97.5 will be broadcast throughout the park.

21. Christmas Day Meals
crowne plaza knoxville
Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, by reservation only
Cherokee Grill, Gatlinburg
• Crowne Plaza Hotel
Golden Corral
• Holiday Inn, Cedar Bluff, 304 N. Cedar Bluff Road, 865-693-1011
• International House of Pancakes, all locations
• Iron Skillet, 722 N. Watt Road, 865-690-6194
• The Lodge at Buckberry Creek, Gatlinburg, 865-430-8030
• Marriott, 500 Hill Ave., 865-637-1234
No Way Jose's Cantina, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
Ruby Tuesday
Shoney's (select locations)
TGI Fridays
22. Christmas Eve Services
first baptist church knoxville

Christmas Eve Services
First Baptist Church Knoxville. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. 5:00 pm. 865-546-9661

St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Christmas Pageant & Holy Eucharist; 6:00 pm Holy Eucharist; 10:45 pm Choral Eucharist. 12:00 Noon & 2:00pm (Chapel) Holy Eucharist; 4:00 pm. 865-525-7347

Redeemer Church of Knoxville, 1642 Highland Ave. 4:00pm-5:00pm Service; 5:00pm-6:00pm Christmas Eve Soup Dinner. 865-524-4552

First Presbyterian offers two Christmas Eve services. The 5:00pm Family Service is in the chapel & consists of favorite Christmas stories for children & carols. The 11:00pm Candlelighting & Communion Service begins with a prelude of music at 10:45 pm & continues with lessons, carols & communion. 5:0 0 pm & 11:00 pm, First Presbyterian Church. 865-546-2531

Candlelight, Carols & Christmas Stories" designed for families with young children. Communion is not part of this service. 7:30pm, Church Street United Methodist Church, 865-521-0282

December 24
Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Services
Musical Prelude begins at 4:30 pm and 10:30 pm, with traditional services at 5:00 pm and 11:00 pm, Church Street United Methodist Church. 865-521-0282

December 24
Christmas Eve Services of Holy Eucharist
The 5:30pm service is a family service with the Nativity Pageant. The 11:00 pm service has a musical prelude beginning at 10:30 pm. 5:30 pm & 11:00 pm. St. James' Episcopal Church. 865-523-5687

23. Titanic's Christmas in a Winter Wonderland
titanic museum christmas
December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29

It will snow again this holiday season in Pigeon Forge; Titanic Museum Attraction guarantees it. REAL snow – at the Titanic. The snow is part of the museum's "Christmas in a Winter Wonderland," which is dedicated to honoring and celebrating the lives of the 2,208 passengers and crew of the Titanic.

Father Christmas, dressed in period style, will also be visiting the museum to greet guests as the snow falls

Every Saturday in December at 7:00 p.m., the Titanic will produce real, falling snow off the bow of the ship. AND...the entire ship inside and out will be aglow with Christmas lights and decorations.
24. Alive into 2013
blues band jenna
December 31
"Alive into 2013!" is the New Year's Eve Party at the Knoxville Museum of Art, featuring the music of Knoxville's top Blues band Jenna and Her Cool Friends.

Admission includes dancing, supper and breakfast buffets by F.A.T.S. BBQ, two cash bars, and a fabulous view of the midnight fireworks on Market Square.
9:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m.; $60, $40, $30

25. First Night Knoxville
first night knoxville
New Year's Eve Celebration of the Arts in downtown Knoxville
First Night® is a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year's Eve community celebration of the arts. The celebration began in Boston in 1976 and has grown to an event that attracts hundreds of thousands of celebrants each year. Since then the event has expanded to over 100 cities in 30 states across the country, as well as internationally into Canada and New Zealand.

• Family-friendly and alcohol-free
• Enjoy music, dance, theatre, storytelling, artists & more at 10 different downtown venues
• Market Square outdoor entertainment is free
• First Night Admission button gets you into all of the venues and gives you discounts on other attractions
• Special Children's activities
• Market Square District businesses open late
• Multiple food vendors, rides, & amusements
• Evening builds to the New Year countdown!

Published November 24, 2012

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