It’s a holiday event for all of Roane County—and the surrounding area.
The first of what’s expected to become an annual celebration—Roane County Lighting of the Tree—will be held Monday, November 20, on the front lawn of Roane State Community College’s main campus, 276 Patton Lane.
The college is a central location in Roane County. “It’s an institution, not just of higher learning, but of our community,” said Roane State Alumni Relations Director Tamsin Miller.
There will be a large variety of holiday music, games and activities for children, and refreshments. It’s Roane County’s take on the famous tree lighting ceremony in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, Miller said.
“This will function as an introduction to all the holiday events throughout the county,” she said. “It will bring families from all over the county together in celebration and song!”
Weather permitting, performances will be outside and begin at 6 p.m. with an assortment of holiday music performed by local groups. The Roane Choral Society, now in its 45th season, will be on stage, followed by Roane State’s Concert Choir and the Celebration Singers.
Musical groups from Roane County’s high schools and elementary schools will perform between 6:45 and 7:15 p.m.
The 20-foot-tall Mountain Pine tree will be illuminated for the season in a ceremony from 7:15 until 7:30 p.m., followed by holiday songs performed by combined school choirs and the public.
A variety of children’s games are planned, and there will be pictures taken of kids with Santa and his reindeer. Concessions will include hot cider and cocoa.
College officials are already talking about expanding the program in subsequent years to possibly include hay rides and a craft fair, Miller said.
Plans call for the event to be held each year on the Monday before Thanksgiving.