KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Downtown Knoxville is getting into the holiday spirit, with less than two months to go until Christmas.
Crews are putting up the annual Christmas tree located off Gay Street, in Krutch Park. In a picture shared on social media Thursday, it appeared crews have already blocked off a section of the park for the tree and started arranging some of its pieces. They also already have a lift to help them put the pieces together.
The holidays also bring a list of festivities to the city, such as the Celebration of Lights and an ice skating rink in Market Square. A list of festivities is available below.
- Comcast Christmas at Chilhowee (Nov. 18, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.): This free event brings Santa Clause to Chilhowee Park, and families will be able to take photos with him. There are also free activities, crafts and a holiday "Touch-A-Truck" event where families can see decorated cars. They will also be able to see firetrucks and police cars up close, while also enjoying a hayride around the park.
- Regal Celebration of Lights (Nov. 25, 5:15 p.m. - 9 p.m.): This free event celebrates lighting the 42-foot tall Mickey Mallonee Christmas in the City Tree, in the Krutch Park Extension area. Usually, the park is also decorated with glimmering lights that remain in the area throughout the holiday season. There will also be live music during the event, photos with Santa, and more.
- Holidays on Ice (Nov. 25 - Jan. 2, 2023): One of the biggest events of the holiday season in Knoxville is the annual Holidays on Ice celebration. This event brings an ice skating rink to Market Square, where people can enjoy skating under the stars. This year, there may also be a few panda sightings if the event's mascot, Peppermint Panda, pays a visit. Adult tickets are $12 per day, and children's tickets are $9 per day.
- WIVK Christmas Parade (Dec. 2, starting at 7 p.m.): This holiday parade brings together bands, dancers, lighted floats, characters and Santa Clause to march down Gay Street and spread holiday cheer. The parade stars on Church Avenue, near the Coliseum, before turning right on Gay Street and continuing to Magnolia Avenue.
- Tour De Lights (Dec. 10, 5:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.): The holiday bike ride brings people though Old City, North Knoxville and the downtown areas. Participants are encouraged to decorate themselves and their bikes, showing their holiday spirit as they cruise through much on Knoxville and wave at onlookers.
- New Year's Eve at the Sunsphere (Dec. 31, starting at 8 p.m.): This huge celebration will welcome 2023 with food trucks, a silent disco, DJ music, and live music stars at World's Fair Park. The ball drop is at midnight when the celebration will really get loud!
Several other events are usually planned throughout East Tennessee, as communities gather together for holiday festivities.