A serene holiday glow warms many U.S. cities between Thanksgiving and the New Year, but Clarksville sparkles as millions of lights adorn the city’s Cumberland RiverWalk and downtown city center.
Kicking off the holiday season for Clarksville is the opening of Christmas on the Cumberland, on Tuesday, November 21. Over two million lights in captivating displays illuminate the half-mile walk along the river. Special crafts, dances, choirs and other activities will take plan on December 9 and 16. This free event has become a treasured tradition for residents throughout the region. Christmas on the Cumberland continues through Tuesday, January 2 and is open Sunday-Thursday from 5:00-10:00p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 5:00-11:00p.m.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” opens on Thanksgiving evening, November 23, at the Roxy Regional Theatre in the heart of downtown. Adapted from the classic animated television special, this holiday musical follows Charlie Brown as he complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season. Having produced live professional theatre for more than 30 years, the Roxy is another holiday regional favorite. The special Christmas production runs through Saturday, December 16. For performance dates and times, or to purchase tickets online, visit roxyregionaltheatre.org.
Holiday ICE comes to Clarksville for the first time this holiday season. A portion of city’s newest park, Downtown Commons, will open for ice skating on Friday, November 24 at 6:30p.m.-10:45 p.m. Admission for ice skating will be $10 per person, which includes the cost of renting ice skates within a specified time block. The ice rink will be open at designated times through January, with the full park opening in the spring. For dates and times, visit facebook.com/downtowncommonstn/.
Drive Thru Christmas Lights begins at the Clarksville Speedway on Thanksgiving night, November 23, and continues days through January 1. Enjoy over one mile, and over a million lights, from the comfort of your car. See admission and special discount nights at www.clarksvillespeedway.com.
Erin’s Farm is ablaze with Christmas activities. The seasons kicks off with WinterFest on Saturday, November 25 from 10:00a.m.-4:00p.m. The day includes hayrides and hot cocoa, food, activities and crafts for the kids, and family fun and games. You can also select and cut your own fresh Christmas tree. A gift gallery carries a variety of local-artisan produced goods, crafts and artworks. New this year is glass-blowing with Atlanta artisan, Algar Dole, November 25 - December 10. Visit their website at www.erinsfarm.com for workshop schedules and hand-blow your very own one-of-a-kind Christmas ornament.
The city’s 58th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade kicks off on Saturday, December 2 at 5:00p.m. Winding its way from Austin Peay State University through historic downtown, the sights and sounds of this event will thrill the young at heart of all ages.
SpiritFest, now in its third year, is a pre-parade event that includes a bounty of free activities. Visits with Santa Claus, rides on the Polar Express, inflatables, live music, art and gift markets, food trucks and a live nativity with animals begin at 2:00p.m. on December 2. Visit fpcclarksville.org/spiritfest_microsite/ for more info on parking and schedules.
More than 20 trees decorate the rooms of the historic Smith Trahern Mansion during Trees of Christmas. Opening Sunday, December 3, each tree in this display is designed and decorated by a local club or organization to the theme of “Heart of the Home.” Find details at the Smith Trahern Mansion’s Facebook page.
First Baptist Church in downtown Clarksville offers Tour of Trees, a display of more than 30 designed trees. Each tree is adorned with ornaments, ribbons and toppers, and tells the story of Christ through decoration, song and scripture. A Patriotic tree is also designed to honor military veterans. The exhibit is free to the public beginning Monday, December 4 and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in December until Christmas from 10:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.
Part of what makes the Christmas special season at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center is Noel Night. This year on December 7, the evening of festivities includes refreshments and special sales at Seasons: The Museum Store. Find one-of-a-kind words from local and regional artisans, such as jewelry, pottery, art, toys, and other items perfect for the holidays. See more about museum exhibits at www.customshousemuseum.org.
Learn what Clarksville looked like during the Civil War at Christmas in Occupied Clarksville at Fort Defiance Interpretive Center on Saturday, December 9 from 4:00-6:00p.m. Visitors will be able to step back in time to see period decorations, visit with a 19th century Santa, and enjoy eggnog, cakes and caroling. For details visit www.cityofclarksville.com.
If you’d simply like to sit back and enjoy the sites, our local restaurants have a picture-perfect seat for you. Enjoy a fresh-from-scratch meal or local brew and enjoy the view of illumination. Start planning your holiday getaway at www.visitclarksvilletn.com.