Tennessee's Holiday Season Is Full Of Singing

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - by Amanda Stravinsky

The Soundtrack of America is always playing in Tennessee, especially during Christmas. Hark what Tennessee sings in parades, at attractions and in house museums across the state: Christmas has come and with it the glorious sounds of the season.


Trisha Yearwood flips the switch, illuminating and starting Christmas at Graceland which shows how Elvis Presley decorated Graceland during the holiday season.

The mansion, adorned in red velvet drapes and Christmas decorations from the Presley family, showcases hundreds of blue lights, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa, and interior and exterior lights through Jan. 8, 2016.

A Christmas glow can be found starting Nov. 20 at the Memphis Zoo during Zoo Lights 2015. Activities include rides through Zoo Lights on the tram, a China carousel, animal encounters, hot chocolate and treats, hundreds of Christmas light displays and live reindeer. Snow blankets the property and the 200 ft.-long tunnel of light is back, serving an extra dose of magic.


This year’s A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort will include two million lights, ICE! featuring The Nutcracker and “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.” Grammy Award-winning Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers have a new Christmas dinner show that blends their harmonies with holiday favorites. Two million pounds of colored ice tells The Nutcracker story in a new way as the original Tchaikovsky score is played while guests walk through the ICE! exhibit. Experience snow tubing and ice skating, The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt throughout the hotel, and the outdoor Nativity by carriage ride.

Head to Franklin and you’ll think you’ve stepped into Charles Dickens’ classic stories during Dickens of a Christmas Dec. 12-13. Celebrating its 31st anniversary, Dickens of a Christmas incorporates 200 characters, dancers and entertainers from Charles Dickens’ stories like Fagin from “Oliver Twist,” Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley from “A Christmas Carol.” The Franklin police officers even get in on the fun, dressing up as English patrolmen. Sugar plums and roasted chestnuts are sold on the street; carriage rides are given; musical performances occur on the stage and in the street; and a town sing of classic Christmas carols heralds in this joyful time of year.


Smoky Mountain Winterfest blankets Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in millions of lights and holiday displays throughout the area. Christmas programs and holiday concerts are performed, bringing together the three cities for an unforgettable holiday season. Gatlinburg’s Annual Fantasy of Lights Dec. 4 hosts illuminated floats, characters like Charlie Brown, the Grinch, and, of course, Santa. During Smoky Mountain Christmas now through Jan. 3, 2016 at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, kids and kids at heart can enjoy four million lights throughout the park, performances, Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, and Appalachian Christmas, an acoustic show of holiday classics. The area’s largest living Nativity, Santa and his elves, and lots of live animals that include a white lion and camels are all part of the Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater through Jan. 3, 2016 in Pigeon Forge. Sevierville celebrates Winterfest with 15 million lights and is home to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland through Jan. 3, 2016 at Smokies Stadium. Buy Winterfest 3D glasses for $1 that turn each Christmas light into a dazzling snowflake.

Speedway in Lights is the largest holiday light show in the South at Bristol Motor Speedway. Four miles and two million lights captivate visitors through Jan. 2, 2016. New this year is the BMS Express, a version of the Polar Express complete with hot chocolate and cookies that presents Speedway in Lights in a different way. Visitors can also take an open air tram ride on Santa’s Speedway Sleigh that makes a 30-minute stop in Christmas Village and includes blankets for cozying up and marshmallows for roasting.

Airbnb Announces Home Sharing Tax Agreement With Tennessee

Airbnb, a community driven hospitality company, announced a statewide tax agreement with the Tennessee Department of Revenue that will allow the company to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on behalf of its 7,700 Tennessee hosts.   With the tax agreement in place, the state will be able to fully capitalize on people visiting Tennessee and staying longer ... (click for more)

A Party In The Sky Celebrates Natural Aviators With IMAX Film, Crafts, Games And Animal Encounters

From Atlas Beetles’ ponderous lift off to Starlings’ gracefully synchronized aerial maneuvering, Conquest of the Skies 3D  covers the full gamut of natural flight. On  Jan. 27 , the newest film to fill the IMAX 3D Theater’s six-story screen gets even more incredible thanks to A Party in the Sky. This one-time event will feature pre- and post-screening activities that ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy In Officer-Involved Shooting At Lakesite

A Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputy was involved in an officer involved shooting in the Lakesite area on Friday morning.   Authorities said it happened around 9:35 a.m. near the 1900 block of Wilkes Avenue.   Deputies were called on "an unwanted party."   There was a confrontation with deputies and a man at the mobile home was shot.   ... (click for more)

EPB Video As Percentage Of Fiber Customers Going Down, But That's Fine With Management

With more and more video customers turning to streaming options, EPB's video is dropping as a percentage of overall fiber customers. But that's fine with EPB management, knowing that all that video streaming needs a wide fiber pipeline to go through. EPB is positioned with the best "gig" service. Greg Eaves, chief financial officer, said 65 percent of EPB fiber customers now ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It is said that a 15-year-old in Minnesota, where just like the rest of the United States prayer in schools is prohibited, was tasked with writing an essay. He turned in his paper and, as it was returned with an A-plus, it is only fitting that something this clever should begin this week’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies. Those who enjoy the Funnies understand that ... (click for more)