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knoxville holiday guide 2018

Follow the Lights to Holiday Fun!

Holiday cheer is here. Get in the holiday spirit by getting out and taking part in some of the festivals, parades, and special events. Gather together family and friends and make memories to last a lifetime.

Classic East Tennessee

tennessee christmas

Lights, holiday scenes, and special events help us create those memories that will fill our iPhones and bring treasures to our memory books. Bring your camera to capture many holiday events to share with friends and family.

blount mansion open house small business saturday
nutcracker british monarchy
elf on the shelf lights l'chaim

November 9 - December 24
Make magical memories at the Simon Santa Experience
West Town Mall
Save time, skip the line by reserving your magical moment with Santa online; Popular Caring Santa® event, Pet Photo Night and Breakfast with Santa offer special opportunities for photos with Santa. More information

November 17 - December 18
'Nutcracker' Ballets

The Oak Ridge Civic Ballet performes Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Performances are 7 p.m. Nov. 17 and 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Performing Arts Center, Oak Ridge High School, 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge. Tickets: $20 adults, $15 senior citizens, $10 students at

The Maryville-based Appalachian Ballet dances its 47th "Nutcracker" in Knoxville and Maryville. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, 500 Howard Baker Jr. Ave., and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus. Aaron Smyth, who dances the ballet's Nutcracker Prince, is in Disney's new film "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms." Adult tickets are $25, $35 or $40 in advance, $5 more at the door. Students' and senior citizens' tickets are $5 less than adult prices. Tickets at

November 21-25
Fantasy of Trees

fantasy of treesThe 34th annual Fantasy of Trees will return to the Knoxville Convention Center this year with the theme "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 21, 23 and 24; 3-8 p.m. Nov. 22; and noon-6 p.m. Nov. 25. It will feature decorated trees, a gingerbread village, holiday vendors, children's activities, rides and a stage with live entertainment.

Tickets cost $8 for adults, $4 for children 4-12, and children under 3 get in free. Proceeds will benefit East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

November 21-25 and December 12-23
River & Rail Theatre Company's folk-rock musical "The Unusual Tale of Mary & Joseph's
The Swift Building, 119 W. Fifth Ave. Tickets: $19 for students, $28 or $40 for adults. Shows are 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.;

regal celebration of lights
Regal Celebration of Lights

November 23
Regal Celebration of Lights
Krutch Park Extension, Market Square
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The annual Regal Celebration of Lights in downtown Knoxville will kick off holiday festivities in the city. The tree lighting ceremony will start at 6 p.m. WDVX Holiday Ho Ho Hoedown will continue until 9 p.m. The event also will include photo ops with Santa, children's activities, face painting and train rides.

November 23 - December 25
Miracle Comes To Knoxville!
Sapphire Fine Food & Fancy Drinks
428 South Gay Street

Miracle, the beloved Christmas-themed pop-up is coming to Knoxville this year! Opening up on Black Friday, November 23rd through December 30th, Sapphire Fine Food & Fancy Drinks will be transformed with nostalgic holiday décor and a signature cocktail menu with new cocktails like the “Snowball Old Fashioned” (Butterscotch Rye, Spiced Demerara, Wormwood Bitters, Orange Zest) and “Christmas Carol Barrel” (Aged Rum, Aquavit, Amaro, Pumpkin Pie, Demerara Syrup, Lime, Vanilla, Angostura Bitters).

Miracle at Sapphire will also join locations around the country in selling holiday mugs featured on the signature cocktail menu with 10% of all sales donated to Action Against Hunger, making the perfect gift that keeps on giving.

• Black Friday Opening Miracle Weekend Extravaganza! - 11/23-11/24
• Live DJ, Giveaways and More on the first two nights of Miracle! Open 4:00pm - 3:00am
• Christmas Parade on Gay Street - 12/07 – Same evening as the city’s annual Christmas parade. Stop by Miracle at Sapphire to continue the celebration! Open 4:00pm - 3:00am
• Ludachristmas - 12/16 - This is a service industry event that’s only for the Knoxville Service Industry. Hosted by the local USBG Chapter
• Christmas Eve - 12/24 - Open 5:00pm - 12:00am
• Christmas Night - 12/25 - Open 5:00pm - 3:00am

November 23 - December 9
"Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)" plays at Theatre Knoxville Downtown, 319 N. Gay St., 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 at

November 23 - January 6
Holidays on Ice
Market Square
Market Square's ice rink will be open 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-9 p.m. Sunday.

From Dec. 17 to Dec. 30, the rink will be open 1-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and Friday-Sunday hours will remain the same. Jan. 2-6, the rink will be open 1-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and Friday-Sunday hours will be the same. Holiday hours include 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 1-9 p.m. Dec. 26, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The rink is closed on Christmas Day.

Admission to the rink costs $11 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Season passes cost $50 for adults and $35 for children ages 12 and under.

All Aboard with Santa
three rivers rambler

Climb aboard the "Christmas Lantern Express" and be a part of this beloved Knoxville tradition. Enjoy festive decorations, holiday treats, storytime with celebrity readers and a special visit with Santa. More info

November 24
La La Land, A Christmas Story, the Musical
Tennessee Theatre
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
From the songwriting team behind the smash hit Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and the Academy Award-winning film La La Land, A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL, brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious life on stage! Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. Nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical, the Associated Press calls A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL “a joyous Christmas miracle,” while The New York Times writes “I was dazzled. You’d have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”

November 25
Keyboards at Christmas
Knoxville Civic Auditorium
Hear holiday music from 5 grand pianos. In addition, InsideOut Quartet will sing your favorites Christmas songs, and a large children’s choir will give an awesome performance. This will be the 5th Annual event as a benefit for “Mission of Hope. More info

November 25
Holiday Arboretum Tour and Potpourri Workshop
2:00 p.m.
Marble Springs State Historic Site
1220 W. Gov. John Sevier Highway

Take some time away from the turkey and shopping to restore your calm, fellowship, and meet new friends before the busy holiday season. Jane Muldoon will take you on a relaxing nature walk where you will learn about the winter woods and gather materials for natural potpourri to brighten your home or give as a festive gift to a special friend. Please bring hand clippers, basket or bag for collecting, and a container for your potpourri. Call 865-573-5508 or 865-712-9076 to register.

Marble Springs State Historic site is the farm and last remaining home of John Sevier, Revolutionary War hero at the Battle of Kings Mountain and first governor of Tennessee. The site is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00pm and on Sundays from 12:00-5:00pm. Guided tours of the cabins are available for a fee.

November 25 - December 14-16
Knoxville Symphony Concerts
Bijou Theatre

2:30 p.m.
The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra's Classical Christmas Concert, part of its Chamber Classic Series at the Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay St. Tickets: $15, $25 or $35 for adults, $12.50 for students.

November 29 & 30
Santa Mouse Christmas House
Fairview Methodist, 2508 Old Niles Ferry, Maryville, TN
Thursday, November 29, 10 am-6pm; Friday, November 30, 10am-6pm; Saturday, December 1, 10am-3pm.
The show offers unique, handcrafted items made by over 50 well-known artisans from the area. Shop for Christmas gifts, ornaments, fine art paintings, basketry, beaded and precious metal jewelry, fiber arts, glasswork, gourd art, handmade soaps and creams, woodworking, plus much more. Free admission and parking!

November 30 - December 16
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Knoxville Children's Theatre, 109 E. Churchwell Ave.
Tickets: $12 for adults, $10 for students. The play is performed at different times; times and tickets are at

November 30
Christmas at Chilhowee
Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Join in for the tree lighting ceremony on the bandstand. Live music and many free activities.

November 30 - December 2
Candlelight Christmas
Museum of Appalachia
The Museum of Appalachia, 2819 Andersonville Highway, Clinton, hosts its old-fashioned Candlelight Christmas at 5-9 p.m. Nov. 30 and 4-9 p.m. Dec. 1-2. There will be tours of decorated cabins, a live Nativity, music, caroling and demonstrations of spinning, weaving and blacksmithing. There also will be storytelling, wagon rides and holiday crafts for children.

Tickets bought by Nov. 19 are $12 adults, $5 children or $30 for a family. Tickets at the gate are $15 adults, $5 children and $35 family. Children under 5 get in free. Information at

December 1
Scruffy City Orchestra Concert
Johnson University, Phillips-Welshimer Auditorium, 7900 Johnson Drive
7:00 p.m.
Festival of Music (with the Vox Royale University Choir combined with the Tennessee Music Department) Orchestra Conductor: Ace Edewards

Line-Up: A few of the selections include Bizet's "Farandole" from "L'Arlesienne #2” and Vaughan Williams’ "Fantasia on Christmas Carols”as well as traditional pieces such as “Greensleeves”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Tickets: Free admission.

December 1
Powell Christmas Parade
Powell Middle School
The Powell Christmas Parade will kick off at 5:00 p.m.

December 1
Barbershop Style Christmas
Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church, 7753 Oak Ridge Hwy
7:00 p.m.
The Smokyland Sound Chorus and the Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church of KARNS are pleased to announce a Barbershop Style Christmas concert at the church on Saturday evening December 1. The headliner quartet for the concert will be the Rocky Toppers of the Knoxville metro area. They were "runners up" for championship quartet at the Dixie District competition this fall in Alabama. The concert will also feature the local chapter chorus as well as several of its internal quartets, including the crowd pleasing Three Nice Guys quartet, a new group called Old Fashioned, and the guys called Fourtuitous. A "love offering" will be taken during the concert to support the sponsors.

December 1-2
18th Annual Messiah Sing Along presented by director Sandy Wells and the Tri-County Orchestra and Chorus. The audience is invited to participate in the major pieces if they so choose. Music will be provided. Admission is free; donations are welcome.
Concert #1: Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. at Norris United Methodist Church, 62 Ridgeway at Oak Road, Norris
Concert #2: Dec. 2 at 3 pm at the Historic Grove Theater, 123 Randolph Rd., Oak Ridge

December 2
Nativity with live animals
1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Krutch Park Extension

December 6
"Home for the Holidays"
Clayton Performing Arts Center
Pellissippi State Community Collage
Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road
6 & 8 p.m.
Three choirs and six instrumental ensembles will transport audiences "Home for the Holidays" at Pellissippi State Community College's annual Holiday Spectacular. Tickets are free and available at the door on a first come, first served basis.

December 7
WIVK Christmas Parade
7:00 p.m.
The parade begins on Church Avenue near the Coliseum, turn right on Gay Street, turn right on Jackson Avenue and end in the Old City past Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria. It will include bands, dancers, floats and Santa Claus.

December 7
Merry & Bright Christmas Open House
Blount Mansion
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Come celebrate a historic holiday with the Blount Mansion family. More Information

December 8
Halls Christmas Parade
6:00 p.m.
The parade will begin at Halls High School and travel south on Maynardville Highway to Crippen Road. Featured are floats, groups, and music.

December 8
First Farragut United Methodist Breakfast with Santa
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
12733 Kingston Pike

Bring your family and join us for the annual “Breakfast with Santa” event! Enjoy a delicious breakfast, visit an Elf Shop and craft area, and get your photo taken with Santa! Cost is $10 per family and proceeds go towards FFUMC Children’s Ministry Program. Ticket reservations at under “event registration.” Walk-ins also welcome.

December 8-10
Nativity Pageant of Knoxville
Knoxville Civic Auditorium
December 8-9: 3:30 p.m.
December 10: 7:00 p.m.
A 120-member cast, 150-voice choir, and live animals present the story of Jesus' birth. Performances are free.

December 9
Merry Memories at Marble Springs
Marble Springs, 1220 West Governor John Sevier Highway
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Embrace Christmas Past at Marble Springs. Make Memories to Last will feature an afternoon of music and holiday festivities reminiscent of our pioneer past. Also visit the Trading Post to shop the newly inspired selection of gifts perfect for the holidays and beyond. Admission: $3, ages 12 & up; $1, ages 11 and under.

December 9
Tuba Christmas
Knoxville Market Square
4:30 pm

Registration is at 1:30 pm, Univ. of Tennessee, Haslem Music Center; rehearsal is at 2:00 pm. Parking for the rehearsal is in Lot 23 at UT (free on Sundays). Parking for the concert is at Market Square Garage If there is rain or snow, the event will be held at the UT Haslam Music Center. Participant registration fee is $10.00.

tour de lights knoxville
Tour de Lights

December 9-10
Mabry-Hazen House Christmas Open House
Mabry-Hazen House will be decorated in the spirit of the holiday, historically-inspired refreshments will be served, and there will be a few surprises as well. Carolers will perform traditional favorites on Saturday evening. The historic house will open for visitors to casually walk through and enjoy a festive mix of modern and historic decorations. More information

December 14-15
Tour de Lights
Market Square
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fun, free bike parade through Downtown, 4th & Gill and Old Knoxville. Many spectators turn out along the route to watch and call out holiday greetings. Participants come in costume and decorate their bicycles.

December 14-16
Annual Clayton Holiday Concert
Knoxville Civic Auditorium
Shows are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 and 7:30 p.m Dec. 15 and 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Tickets: $23 to $47 for adults, $12.50 to $24 for children.

December 14-16
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Presented by The WordPlayers & The Arts at Pellissippi
Clayton Performing Arts Center, Pellissippi State Community College, 10915 Hardin Valley Rd., Knoxville

This dramatization of C.S. Lewis' classic, faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia. This story of love, faith, courage and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is a true celebration of life. Dec. 14 @ 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15 @ 2:30 p.m. & Dec. 16 @ 2:30 p.m. Tickets: Adults: $15, Students (13+): $12, Child (12 & under): $8, Groups of 10 or more: $2 off each ticket price. Tickets available online at and at the door. Seating is reserved.

December 16
It's A Wonderful Life
Tennessee Theatre
2:00 pm

its a wonderful lifeA classic holiday film screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” presented by Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. Released in 1946 and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey, a compassionate but debt-ridden manager of a bank in typical small-town America, and the angel that helps him realize his importance in the world. This free event, made possible by Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and experience the beautiful Tennessee Theatre. General admission seating is available on a first come, first serve basis and is limited. Doors will open one hour prior to the showing. For information on parking (city owned garages are free on weekends), visit

December 20-22
The Primary Players' Children's Theatre presents "Elf Jr." at 2 and 7 pm. at the Clayton Center for Arts on Maryville College's campus. Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for students age 12 and younger for evening shows and the Dec. 22 matinee; $14 and $7 for Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 matinees. Children under 5 get in free. Info:

December 22
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Tennessee Theatre
8:00 p.m.
As the holidays approach, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas, so he pesters his wife, Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), and children, as he tries to make sure everything is in line, including the tree and house decorations. However, things go awry quickly. His hick cousin, Eddie (Randy Quaid), and his family show up unplanned and start living in their camper on the Griswold property. Even worse, Clark's employers renege on the holiday bonus he needs.

December 23
Polar Express
Tennessee Theatre
3:00 p.m.
Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump," "Cast Away") reunite for "Polar Express," an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

December 31 - January 1
New Year's on the Square presented by Lloyds Electric
Market Square
10:00 p.m. to 12:01 a.m.
Bring in the new year with your friends and family on Market Square! Holidays on Ice is open from 1pm-10pm, Bich Brothers will perform starting at 10pm, businesses on Market Square are open.

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