Community Events for December 4, 2008

Thursday, Dec. 4

Festival of Trees lights up Blount Court House

The third leg of Hometown Christmas is the Blount County Courthouse Festival of Trees. This holiday tradition features the illumination of the Festival of Trees on the court house grounds, followed by children’s activities inside and on the Courthouse grounds.

Schedule for Festival of Trees is 6:30 p.m., illumination of trees; 7 to 8 p.m, light refreshments, visits with Santa Claus and train rides for the children. All activities are free and open inside to the party room.

Thursday, Dec. 4

Footloose in the Foothills offers shopping extravaganza

You can shop ‘til you drop at the upcoming Footloose in the Foothills Holiday Shopping Extravaganza.

The shopping spree that features arts, crafts, jewelry and home parties will be from 5 to 10 p.m. at Preservation Plaza and the Capitol Theatre. Vendors include local artists and craftsmen showing off their best for the shoppers of Blount County.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Proceeds benefit the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Program.

For information, call Judy at 865-983-4710.

Saturday, Dec. 6

SKIT Presents A Christmas Carol: The Musical

SKIT Productions welcomes its upcoming family production, A Christmas Carol: The Musical. Charles Dickens’ famous tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge will be brought to life through singing and dancing set in the streets, homes, workhouses, and graveyards of Victorian-era London, and guided by the three ghosts who lead Scrooge to review and reevaluate his life: the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

The story we all know and love is now set to music that soars with love, emotion, and joy for the feelings of Christmas that we carry with us all year round. Adapted by Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens, and Mike Okrent, and under the direction of Debra Lonsdale, this version receives the full Broadway treatment.

This is the version that leaves New Yorkers and tourists alike gasping in wonder and merriment as the story unfolds each year on the stage at Madison Square Garden; and In 2004 it became the basis of an NBC television spectacular featuring Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge, surrounded by an array of stars including Jason Alexander and Jennifer Love Hewitt. There are many adaptations of A Christmas Carol out there, but only one Broadway version! Now this holiday treat can delight East Tennessee audiences just as it has done annually to audiences in New York City for so many years!

Come join SKIT for this wonderful holiday spectacular, and learn to live with the spirit of Christmas all year long -- “til each child is fed, til all men are free, ‘til the world becomes a family and a better place to live… and God bless us every one.”

Performances are Saturday, December 6, at 3 PM and 7 PM, and again on Sunday, December 7, at 3 PM at Pellissippi Performing Arts Center, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under. Group rates are available (for 20 or more). Tickets are available online or by calling 865-982-0600 or 865-621-0216 or through http://SKITproductions.net.

Saturday, Dec. 6

Breakfast with Santa to help fund Toys for Blount County

Tickets are now on sale for both seatings at the Junior Service League’s Breakfast With Santa.

Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with other friends, will entertain children at two seatings at Top of the Plaza of Broad Street in downtown Maryville. Seatings are at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Food will be a kid-friendly buffet. There will be treasures and trinkets to sell along with an opportunity to have a picture with Santa for $5.

Tickets are $10 per person. All proceeds benefit the JSL major service project, Toys for Blount County. For more information, call 865-984-3850 or visit www.JSLMaryville.org.

Saturday, Dec. 6

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns hosts annual Breakfast with Santa

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee will hold its 3rd annual “Breakfast with Santa” event on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 7 to 9 a.m. at Applebee’s on 2564 Alcoa Highway.

Children of all ages and their families can enjoy pancakes with Santa Claus. Tickets are $5 for adults and children and include pancakes, sausage, and a drink. Tickets are available in advance from the Secret Safe Place Business Office at 254-2208 or at the door on the day of the event. All proceeds benefit A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee.

The goal of the organization is to raise awareness of Tennessee’s Safe Haven Law in order to prevent newborn abandonment. The law allows the anonymous surrender of unharmed newborns up to three-days-old to hospitals, birthing centers, community health clinics, and walk-in clinics without fear of prosecution for the mother. For more information, please contact the business office at 865-254-2208 or access the website at www.secretsafeplacetn.org. Women in crisis should call the Helpline at 1-866-699-SAFE.

Friday, Dec. 5, 12, 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20

Heritage Planetarium to Premier Holiday Laser Show

The Heritage Planetarium is proud to announce that it will be premiering its newest production, Laser Holidays, this December. It is a fun and unique way to get into the spirit of the season.

“This is the first year we will be offering this program,” said Thomas Webber, director of the facility. “I am really excited about its release and am looking forward to presenting it to the public.”

The program utilizes both laser imagery, immersive digital artwork and colorful cove effects all set to a musical concert of holiday favorites. The fifty-minute program is appropriate for all ages and backgrounds.

Before closing in 2006 to undergo renovations, the Heritage Planetarium used to offer two holiday shows. One was a planetarium program on the Star of Bethlehem and the other was a holiday laser show.

But with the new equipment and programming now available, Webber stresses that this laser show is nothing like the old one.

He also added there are no plans at this time to bring back the planetarium show on the Star of Bethlehem, saying that recent publications in astronomy and history have created uncertainty and debate over the Star’s possible origins.

Laser Holidays features music from Mannheim Steamroller and Burl Ives to Brenda Lee and the Spice Girls. Admission is $5 per person and parking is free. Tickets go on sale one hour before show time.

Laser Holidays Show times:

Fri, December 5 at 6:30 and 8 pm

Fri, December 12 at 6:30 and 8 pm

Fri, December 19 at 6:30 and 8 pm

Sat, December 20 at 6:30 and 8 pm

The Heritage Planetarium is located at 3741 East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville. For more information call (865) 984-8548 or visit www.heritageplanetarium.org.

Saturday, Dec. 6

Candlelight Christmas glows at Sam Houston

Sam Houston Memorial Association Board of Directors invite everyone to “A Candlelight Christmas at the Historic Sam Houston Schoolhouse State Site” on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 6-9 p.m.

Come and celebrate the historic holidays with music, cookies, cider and holiday decorations. The pathways will be lighted and Schoolhouse, Raven Hall Pavilion and Gift Shop/Museum will all have a feeling of holidays past.

Refreshments will be served in the Pavilion as well as a splash of good music.

There is no admission fee but contributions will be accepted and appreciated to help support this historic site.

Sunday, December 7

Townsend Christmas parade has new theme

The Annual Townsend Community Christmas Parade will be on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. The parade’s theme is “Twas the night before Christmas…” In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Assistant Park Superintendent Kevin Fitzgerald will serve as Parade Marshal.

The Parade will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Nawger Nob Craft Settlement area on Highway 321. (Line up will begin at 1 p.m.) The parade will proceed north on Highway 321 and end at the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum.

A program of Christmas music will be presented at the Little River Museum site following the Parade, where prizes will be announced and free refreshments will be served.

Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each of the following categories:

Large Floats

Small Floats (motorcycle, golf cart, decorated four-wheeler, horse-drawn vehicle, automobile)

Horse or Pony and Rider

There is no fee to enter. Anyone in the Townsend, Blount County, or surrounding area is invited to participate in the Parade.

Pre-registeration is required in order to participate. Only those registrants who have turned in a signed entry form will be allowed to participate in the parade.

The City of Townsend will provide the only Santa and Mrs. Claus in the parade.

Registration forms may be picked up at Townsend City Hall or at the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library. Forms may be returned as follows:

Mail to Christmas Parade, 316 Domar Drive, Townsend, 37882

Return in person to the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library or to Townsend City Hall

Fax to Townsend City Hall at 865-448-0908

If you have questions call David Wietlisbach at 865-448-0765, Ron Palewski at 865-448-0619, or Townsend City Hall at 865-448-6886.

Sunday, December 7

Shimmer Hair Spa will host Champagne and Chocolate

Shimmer Hair Spa will host a Champagne and Chocolate Social on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Shimmer Hair Spa, New Midland Plaza in Alcoa. Proceeds from the event will benefit New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center and A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee.

With the purchase of a $20 ticket, you can enjoy decadent chocolate goodies, champagne tasting (non-alcoholic drinks also available), and your choice of any three luxurious treatments from: hand or shoulder massage, skin care or holiday hair consultation, fingernail polish change, to brow or lip wax. Special holiday gift sets will be available for purchase, along with a silent auction with items from several local vendors.

Tickets are available from Shimmer Hair Spa at 232 B South Calderwood Street, Midland Plaza, Alcoa, 984-1772, from New Hope at 212 Cates Street, Maryville, 981-2000, or from Secret Safe Place at 1133 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, 254-2208. Tickets must be purchased in advance and a limited number are available.

Monday, Dec. 8

Light the tree at Pistol Creek

The City of Maryville Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is scheduled for

Monday, Dec. 8 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Pistol Creek Station Bridge area near the Blount County Library.

The rain date for the event is Tuesday, Dec. 9, with the same schedule of events.

Free refreshments will be available. This event is free to the public and is the final event in the “Hometown Christmas” series of events for the holidays.

The evening starts off with the Lighting of the tree followed by musical groups - East Maryville Celebration Choir and Maryville Intermediate School Choir. A candy hunt for kids ages 2 to 12 will follow the music and then visits and free digital photos with Santa will take place in the Rotunda area of the library.

“Sanitation Santa” will be arriving around 7:30 p.m. to visit with children and collect monetary donations or new toys for those in need. Monetary donations will be accepted at the City of Maryville Municipal Building throughout the holidays for the Sanitation Santa program, as well. For more information, call Parks & Recreation at 865-983-9244.

Thursday, Dec. 11

Townsend Library to host author J.D. Jenkins

The Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library in Townsend will host a book signing by Christian author J. D. Jenkins on Thursday, December 11 from 10 am to 2 pm. Refreshments will be served. The cost of his book, titled “God, It’s Just Not Fair! Or is it?” is $15. Mr. Jenkins is donating half of his book’s earnings to charity.

Jenkins’ character, Ben Chambers, embarks on an emotional journey after the recent loss of his best friend in a tragic accident and is torn between grief, anger, and even the possibility of losing his faith. The book encompasses the rollercoaster ride of emotions, the struggles and the inner battles of maintaining one’s faith in the face of adversity. It stresses that life and the good contained therein are far larger and more wonderful than just the here and now, and that God is always willing to shower us with His love.

Says Jenkins, “It is my hope that people will feel they know the characters and that they can relate to what is going on in their lives. I hope my readers will be able to feel the emotions, visualize and see the world as it unfolds in the pages of the book, and rejoice with the character in the end so they will let go of their own pain and let God’s loving healing begin.”

Jenkins, a carpenter by trade, began writing his book in earnest after falling victim to the slowing economy and getting periodically laid off over the past few years. “The economy is so bad that a lot of people cancelled jobs,” said Jenkins. “The houses we were going to build aren’t getting built because the homeowners can’t get their loans. This last layoff, I was told that we may not get back to work until next spring.”

A brief return to work delayed the project, but a second layoff revived Jenkins’ plan to turn his short story into a book. The finished product was published in August, and he has been promoting his book since then.

Jenkins resides in Trenton, Ill., with his wife, Sherry, and their two children.

The Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library is located at 120 Tiger Drive in Townsend. Call 865-448-1441 for further information.

Saturday, Dec. 12

Maryville/Alcoa Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade

The Maryville/Alcoa Jaycees Annual Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, Dec. 13 starting at 11 a.m. This year’s theme is “Your Christmas Story.” This is a great opportunity for clubs, groups, churches, teams, businesses and families to celebrate their Christmas Story with the community.

The application deadline is Friday, Nov. 28. All entries received or post-marked after Friday, Nov. 28 will be subject to a $10 late fee. The absolute final day that applications will be accepted is Friday, Dec. 5. Last minute participants can take their applications to Alcoa Middle School up until 9 p.m. on the night of Dec. 5.

Application can be picked up at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Alcoa Wal-Mart’s Service Desk, Alcoa Middle School, The Daily Times, New Midland Plaza Office and the Community Involvement Reference Desk at the Blount County Library. You can also have an application emailed to you by sending a request to jcschristmasparade@yahoo.com

The application packets contains the parade rules, the line up, the parade route and the awards. We are still accepting applications for floats, teams, groups, clubs and churches. If you need more information, please contact Angie at 865-556-5033.

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