By Jan Boston Sellers
Only two weekends left before Christmas, and if you are like me, you are probably scurrying around to finish your holiday shopping and wrapping. If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of this most wonderful time of the year, then you may want to take advantage of a host of activities going on over the next few days and slow down long enough to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.
Here are a few of my favorite things:
1. Central Baptist Church’s annual installment of the Living Christmas Tree. The “Best Time of the Year” opens Friday night at CBC with a 7 p.m. performance. If you have never been before, you must, you must attend. It is a beautiful evening of traditional holiday and praise music coupled with mini skits, breath taking decorations and spine tingling vocalists. Showtimes this year are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m.
2. The first TAD Center Reindeer Games! Action will begin at 9 a.m. from the TAD Center on Yvonne Ave. with a 5K Reindeer Run, followed by a Reindeer Motorcycle Ride and Reindeer Basketball Tournament. The Reindeer Run will begin at 9 a.m. with day of run registration starting at 8 a.m. at the TAD Center. My sources tell me there will be a herd of a “reindeer” from a local business participating in the race. Best costume earns a prize, and medals will be awarded to winners in each category.
The Reindeer Ride will begin at 11 a.m. and is sponsored by Widow Sons Masonic Riding Association. Motorcycles will leave Mr. Zip at 209 Peavine Rd. at 11 a.m., with donations being taken for the TAD Center. The Reindeer Basketball Tournament will begin at noon in the TAD gymnasium. The three-on-three format tourney is for teams of all ages. Team entry fee is only $20. Please call 456-2859 for more information regarding any of these events.
3. The annual city of Crossville Christmas Parade. This yearly event is slated for 4:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 14. Parade route will include stepping off from Cumberland County High School and Martin Elementary on Stanley St., making its way to Main St. and then following a northward route. The theme for this year’s parade is “The Heart of Christmas” and was named by Cumberland Medical Center’s Vickie Schulz. Denise Melton of House of Hope is the grand marshal.
Special pre-parade events this year include the Rotary Club’s Chili Cook-off at the Depot and a free showing of “Downtown Abbey” at the Palace Theater at 1:30 p.m. Also prior to the parade, CMC and Flowers Bakery have teamed up to provide free hot chocolate and snacks. Contact George Marlow at 484-6133 for more information on the chili cook-off and the Palace at 484-6133 for free tickets to the free movie.
4. Lucas and Friends will present their annual Christmas show benefitting the Fair Park Senior Center. It will take place on Saturday night, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. The holiday show will feature Wayne and Ruth Lucas, Anthony Woolbright, Bob Johnson, Paul and Sandy Thomas, Judy Fistler, Kelsie Matthews, Carol Russell and Alan and Sara Moore. Gordon Stack of Peg Broadcasting will emcee the evening. Tickets may be purchased from the Fair Park Senior Center. For more information call 484-7416.
5. New this year: A Hometown Christmas with Marley Wyatt. This live Christmas show will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Palace. This musical event will feature Wyatt and special guest Whitney Sidwell. Scheduled music includes traditional Christmas tunes and sacred religious ones according to event organizers. Tickets are $6 for 16 and under and $12 for adults over the age of 17. Contact the Palace or purchase tickets online at www.palacetheatre-crossville.com.
6. Finally, don’t forget the holiday fare at Cumberland County Playhouse: Sanders Family Christmas, Suite Surrender and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Contact the Playhouse box office for show times and ticket prices.
If you are looking for day trips for the family in addition to local activities, you may want to consider the lights of Dollywood in the Smoky Mountains; the New York City Rockettes and the lights of Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville; or the beauty, lights and splendor of the majestic Biltmore in Asheville, NC.