Community Events for November 27, 2008

Saturday, Nov. 29

H.O.M.E. for Christmas kicks off Hometown Christmas

It’s time for Hometown Christmas in Blount County, sponsored by Parks & Rec and Blount Today.

H.O.M.E. for Christmas kicks off the trio of events with music, refreshments and the lighting of the Martin Luther King Community Center Tree on Saturday, Nov. 29, at the MLK Community Center.

Light refreshments and musical performances begin at 6 p.m., followed by the tree lighting at 7:15 p.m. and fellowship and children’s activities until 8 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 1

Alcoa Springbrook Splendor is set for Dec. 1

As part of the second leg of the Hometown Christmas, Parks & Rec and Blount Today will host the Springbrook Splendor community night beginning at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1, at Alcoa Springbrook Park, upper fields.

This traditional party features pathways lit with luminaries, train rides, refreshments and the lighting of the Christmas Tree. Tree-lighting is at 6:15 p.m. Music will be provided by William Aaron Tracy, Alcoa Singers and Alcoa Elementary Thursday Trebels and Wednesday Choir groups.

Rain date for Springbrook Splendor is set for 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Sunday, Dec. 1

Holiday Tree of Lights celebration is at Blount Memorial

The Holiday Tree of Lights will be celebrated in the Garden of Life at Blount Memorial Hospital at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1. The event is sponsored by the Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach.

Each light on the tree is donated by a community member in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one. All proceeds from the Holiday Tree of Lights benefit programs that support the healthcare needs of the medically underserved and uninsured.

There will be family-friendly activities such as photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, an appearance by Blount Memorial’s Gingerbread Lady and Candy Cane, live holiday music and refreshments.

Following the tree lighting, the public is invited to the hospital cafeteria to see the Blount Memorial Auxiliary’s Gingerbread Village. Hospital departments have combined their competitive and holiday spirits to create a number of gingerbread house for a competition and silent auction.

Each vote for your favorite holiday house $1 and winners of the silent auction will find themselves with a sweet, edible holiday decoration. All money raised will be donated through the Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach for hospital improvements and service expansion.

Monday, Dec. 1

MC orchestra presents ‘Holiday Classics and Carols’

The Orchestra at Maryville College and the Maryville College Community Chorus will present a program of “Holiday Classics and Carols” at 7:30 p.m., Mon., Dec. 1 at the Maryville First Baptist Church.

The church is located at 202 West Lamar Alexander Parkway.

The sanctuary will be filled with the sounds of the season with singers and the full range of symphonic instruments. But for this performance, concertgoers also will be treated to the sounds of two harps, a harpsichord, an organ and a tin whistle.

Bill Robinson will conduct the Orchestra, and Alan Eleazer, a guest conductor from Hiwassee College, will lead the Chorus in a program highlighted by works arranged by John Rutter, Leroy Anderson and Chip Davis of Manheim Steamroller fame.

The chorus will sing “Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming,” “In Dulci Jubilo” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High” in the a cappella style. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of composer Leroy Anderson’s birth, the Orchestra will perform “A Christmas Festival” and “Sleigh Ride,” which are both instrumental pieces well known to ensemble players young and not-so-young. Both ensembles will perform together nine carols arranged by Rutter, including “O, Come O Come Emanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

In the spirit of the season, free admission is given at the door to anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy for donation to the Junior League of Maryville’s Toys for Blount County program. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 to seniors 60 and above, free to students 18 and under, and free to MC faculty, staff, and students with ID. Students over 18 who attend other colleges admitted for $5 with school ID.

For more information, contact Orchestra General Manager Genevieve Michael at 865.273.8871 or

Wednesday, Dec. 3

Einstein ‘revealed’ is professor’s presentation

“Einstein Revealed: Relatively Speaking,” a presentation by Dr. Roger Miller, associate professor of physics at Maryville College, is planned for 7:30 p.m., Dec. 3, in the College’s Lawson Auditorium.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be the fourth presentation offered by the College’s Science Literacy Lecture Series.

Miller will take an in-depth look at the life of Albert Einstein and how Einstein’s personal experiences shaped both his revolutionary theory of relativity and his views on quantum mechanics. Additionally, the professor will take a broad look at some of the scientific discoveries that Einstein made throughout his lifetime.

Largely student-initiated and driven, the MC Science Literacy Lecture Series arose from in-class discussions and out-of-class faculty-student dialogue on culturally relevant science topics, including global warming and cancer biology. The Series is designed to convey such topics to the general public in order to both provide a brief overview of the subject matter and quell the illusion that science is inaccessible to all.

For more information, contact Misty Gillespie, at 865.981.8164 or

Thursday, Dec. 4

Festival of Trees lights up Blount Court House

The last 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 proceeds benefit the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Program.

There are still some vendor slots available. Call Judy at 865-983-4710 for information.

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

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

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

Saturday, December 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 Women in crisis should call the Helpline at 1-866-699-SAFE.

Saturday & Sunday, Dec 6-7

Appalachian Ballet to present traditional Nutcracker

The Appalachian Ballet Company in their 37th season will present the annual holiday tradition “ The Nutcracker” on Dec. 6-7 at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium.

This production is the only Nutcracker in Knoxville with live music by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

The Appalachian Ballet Company will present two public shows at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Knoxville Civic Autidorium. School matinees are set for Dec. 4 and 5.

Beth Everitt, alumni of Appalachian Ballet and now dancing with the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater of Houston, will return in her roll as the Sugarplum fairy.

The Nutcracker is a wonderful way to ring in the holidays and introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical ballet.

For tickets, call 865-982-8463 or 865-656-4444. Ticket prices are in advance - $35, $30 and $20. Students and seniors receive a $5 discount. Tickets at the door are $40, $35 and $25.

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. 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.

Monday, Dec. 8

Maryville Tree lighting set for Pistol Creek Station

The City of Maryville invites the public to the Hometown Christmas Tree Lighting at Pistol Creek Station, which is located across the pedestrian bridge from the Blount County Public Library. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 with a Dec. 9 rain date.

Events that night include the reading of the Christmas story, the tree lighting, music by the East Maryville Celebration Choir, Maryville Intermediate School Choir, a candy hunt and a visit with Santa Claus.

For the first 200 children there will be free digital photos inside the library with Sanitation Santa, the Santa who rides with the Maryville sanitation trucks.

Guests are asked to bring a new toy or make a monetary donation to Sanitation Santa to help make Christmas brighter for local families in need. For further information call 273-3406.

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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