Usher in your holiday season when Main Street Murfreesboro presents "Celebrate Christmas Downtown." It's one of Murfreesboro's most treasured traditions, featuring the lighting of the Rutherford County Christmas tree on the historic downtown square. The festivities begin on Friday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m.
The county's 24-foot Norwegian spruce was planted last year as a four-season addition to the courthouse square and will don its holiday finest and brightest for its second year. Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron and Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland will join none other than Santa himself to flip the light switch.
The presenting sponsor is once again Murfreesboro Electric Department.
This year features more happenings to prompt holiday smiles than ever before. "This is Main Street Murfreesboro's gift to the community," said Sarah Callender, the new Executive Director of Main Street, the nonprofit organization that works to promote the economic, historic and community aspects of Murfreesboro's downtown.
"Plan to spend at least a couple of hours taking in the entertainment, window displays, shopping opportunities, special children's activities, warm snacks from food vendors and even a Christmas movie. Bring your chair and blanket and make it a family evening tradition downtown." An hour-long program will kick-off at 6 p.m. and feature the Center for the Arts, Homer Pittard Campus School from the county system and Salem Elementary School from the city system, The Dancers School and the debut of the Christmas Community Choir. The choir is composed of downtown churches' children and adult choirs in one joint stage performance.
Before and after the stage event, make sure your children have some free hot chocolate from Pinnacle Financial Partners; children's crafts, compliments of CSL Plasma; letters to Santa, compliments of Redstone Federal Credit Union; making of reindeer food from Murfreesboro Electric; candy canes from the Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and petting and pictures with Jingle and Belle (live reindeer) sponsored by the Rutherford County courthouse and Murfreesboro Electric. National Dance Club will showcase their expert dancing during a preshow at 5:40 pm. and then offer free dance lessons after the show at 7:20 p.m.
Right after the program, Santa will be ready to greet the little ones, eager to share with him their Christmas list, thanks to the "lawyers downtown" sponsorship. Be sure to bring your camera. Guest "readers" will be inside the courthouse to entertain those waiting. Additional dates to visit Santa at the courthouse and take your own photos are Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from noon to 4 p.m. Shacklett's Photography will be on hand for professional photos with Santa on Dec. 13 and 20 from 6 - 8 p.m.
At 7:30, the City of Murfreesboro's Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the holiday movie "Polar Express" on the department's "movie under the stars" blow-up screen.
Don't forget that downtown merchants will be open until 9 p.m. for some early Christmas shopping. Supporting sponsors for "Celebrate Christmas Downtown" also include First Vision Bank and Dempsey, Vantrease & Follis.