Holiday events abound in historic downtown Cleveland. The weekend of activities kicks off Friday with Carols in the City and the Community Tree Lighting and the parade is Saturday.
“These events are a highlight of the Christmas season, and the parade is bigger and better than ever with over 250 entries,” said Sharon Marr, Mainstreet Cleveland executive director.
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 Vice Mayor Avery Johnson and Mayor Emeritus 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, and end at the Courthouse Plaza with Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Elementary Chorus and Trinity Trio.
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 their visit with Santa.
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. All parade entries will feature holiday lights and decorations.
“So much creativity and hard work goes into these floats," said Ms. Marr. "There will be more than 3,000 individuals participating in the parade to make it a very festive evening. We look forward to a great weekend of Christmas events."
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.
Sponsors for the Classic Christmas Events are AmeriTrust Financial Services, American Rooter & Portables, Cleveland Abstract & Title Insurance, Cleveland Ford, First Horizon, Logan-Thompson, PC; Richardson Group, KW Cleveland; and Wholesale Supply Group.
The weekend of holiday events concludes with the Lee University School of Music presenting its 30th 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.