MainStreet Cleveland has planned a weekend of Christmas events in historic downtown to kick off the holiday season.
Carols in the City and the Community Tree Lighting is set for Friday at 6 p.m. and begins at the steps of the Post Office on Broad Street. Christmas greetings will be given by Mayor Tom Rowland, city of Cleveland and Mayor Gary Davis, Bradley County. Santa and Mrs. Claus are the special guests and help light the giant tree beside the front steps.
The First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir kicks off the evening of music with a performance at the Post Office steps.
Once the tree is lit the audience will enjoy choir performances at the churches in Historic Downtown Cleveland. In “reverse caroling” fashion, the audience will walk together to Broad Street United Methodist Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, Lee Carolers at Pangle Hall, and end at the Courthouse Plaza with the finale by North Cleveland Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir.
“This unique event is so heart-warming and charming,” said Melissa Woody, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau and event chair person. “It will definitely fill you with joy and a warm holiday spirit. We look forward to a wonderful evening.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the bandstand at the Courthouse Plaza to greet children and for photos. Parents should bring cameras to capture the visit with Santa. The Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Elementary Chorus will be performing near the bandstand. There will be free carriage rides around the courthouse square until 8 p.m.
The annual Christmas parade begins Saturday at 6 p.m. and travels through historic downtown. It’s one of Cleveland’s longest running and most popular holiday traditions.
“So much creativity and hard work goes into these floats," said Sharon Marr, executive director of MainStreet Cleveland. "It is truly a festive event."
All parade entries will feature holiday lights and decorations.
The parade departs from Bradley Central High School, travels north on South Lee Highway to 3rd Street, north on Ocoee Street, around the monument, south on Broad Street, continues on to Inman Street, and back to South Lee Highway to the school.
For more information on how to enter call the Mainstreet office at 479-1000 or visit the website at www.mainstreetcleveland.com.
The weekend of holiday events concludes with the Lee University School of Music presenting its 28th annual "A Classic Christmas" on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Conn Center.
Admission to the concert is free and open to the public. However, tickets are required due to limited seating. For ticket reservation and information call the box office at 614-8343.