Mark your calendar now for one of Murfreesboro's most treasured holiday traditions - the lighting of the community Christmas tree on the historic downtown square. The festivities begin on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m.
The event is Main Street Murfreesboro's gift to the community and features special music and entertainment. Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess and Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland will join none other than Santa and Mrs. Claus to ring in the holiday season. Santa will arrive aboard a Murfreesboro Fire Department engine, compliments of Chief Mark Foulks.
"Organizing this event to usher in Christmas is an annual pleasure for Main Street," said Kathleen Herzog, director of the nonprofit organization that works to promote the economic, historic and community aspects of Murfreesboro's downtown. "I just don't think the Christmas season has begun until we light up that tree. It's always a heartwarming gathering of friends and neighbors who all have a smile on their face."
Katy Morgan, chief meteorologist with Fox 17 News in Nashville, will emcee the event and deliver her 5:30 forecast from Murfreesboro's Square.
The beautiful Norwegian spruce was donated for the occasion by Mr. and Mrs. Terry Skopiuk. The 18-year-old tree, which stands more than 20 feet tall, was planted by the couple when they moved into their southeast Murfreesboro home.
Some of the community talent already committed to perform includes the Homer Pittard Campus School, Central Magnet School and Bradley Academy choirs; Middle Tennessee State University's Generation of Purpose Choir; and the Jimmie Lou Tate Dancers.
Santa will visit with children in the historic courthouse on the following days:
• Friday, Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m. (bring your own camera)
• Saturday, Dec. 2, noon-4 p.m. (bring your own camera)
• Friday, Dec. 8, 6-8 p.m. (Shacklett's Photography)
• Saturday, Dec. 9, noon-4 p.m. (bring your own camera)
• Friday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m. (Shacklett's Photography)
• Saturday, Dec. 16, noon-4 p.m. (bring your own camera)
The Main Street Program is affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center and follows the tenets of that program. Main Street capitalizes on the unique character of the courthouse square and the surrounding business district with the goal of transforming it into the cultural, social, professional and retail center of Rutherford County ... in essence, the hub of community life.