published Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Christmas coming all around

Staff Report

Three cities in Hamilton County and others around the region will hold community Christmas celebrations this weekend.

* Collegedale. The annual Spirit of Christmas Parade will roll down Little Debbie Parkway at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Bring $1 or a new, unwrapped toy to donate to needy children at Christmas. For more information, call 643-1111 or 238-7777, ext. 20.

* Signal Mountain. Mountain Arts Community Center on Signal Mountain will host its biggest event of the year on Saturday, Dec. 1. The climax is the tree lighting, but other activities will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Scheduled to perform are the Nolan Elementary School Choir, Signal Mountain Presbyterian Youth Choir, Signal Mountain Christian School Chimes Choir and the Tennessee Puppetry Center. A preview of the MACC's upcoming holiday production, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The play will be presented Dec. 14-16. Other activities will include cookie decorating, storytelling with Mrs. Claus, letters to Santa and crafts for kids, including ornament-making and popcorn-stringing. Life Care Center of Red Bank will provide cookies and hot cider. Pizza Place will sell pizza by the slice and other house specialties. Members of the Mountain Business Association will have gift items for sale. Families are encouraged to bring cameras for photographs with Santa. Mountain Arts Community Center is at 809 Kentucky Ave. 886-1959.

* Soddy-Daisy. The newly christened Poe's Tavern, 9835 Dayton Pike, will be the site of a new event in town: an evening of Christmas caroling followed by a tree-lighting. Area churches and school choruses will take part in the activities, scheduled 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

Clips from holiday films will be shown on a big screen as groups sing carols. The evening will conclude with a visit from Santa Claus. Festivities resume the following day, Sunday, Dec. 2, when the city's annual parade rolls through town starting at 2 p.m. The parade route is on Dayton Pike from Harrison Lane north to Sequoyah Road. 332-6992.

* Athens, Tenn. The 2012 Jimmy Liner Memorial Christmas Parade will take place at 7 p.m. Monday downtown. The parade is filled with bands, floats, dancers, singers and antique cars. The town's Old-Fashioned Downtown Christmas is Dec. 8. 423-745-0334.

* Cleveland, Tenn. A Classic Christmas returns with three events over three days. The tree-lighting and Carols in the City program will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. The Christmas parade will illuminate the streets at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The parade will start at Bradley Central High School and travel north on Highway 11, then east on Third Street, north on Ocoee Street, circle the monument, then south on Broad Street, west on Inman Street and south on Highway 11 back to the school. A Classic Christmas Concert will be held in Lee University's Conn Center at 3 p.m. Sunday. Presented by the School of Music, the concert will feature the Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra, Ladies of Lee and the Lee Chorale. Admission is free, but tickets are required due to limited seating. For tickets, call 423-614-8343 weekdays between 3 and 6 p.m. Any remaining tickets will be available in the lobby one hour before the performance Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Museum Center at Five Points, 200 E. Inman St., will have its Holly Jolly Arts Festival this weekend. It starts with a preview party 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, that is free to members, $10 for nonmembers. The festival, which includes children's activities and live art demonstrations, will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Call 423-339-5745 for more information.

* Dayton Tenn. Downtown Dayton will evoke "A Storybook Christmas" at its annual Horse & Carriage Parade on Saturday, Dec. 1. The day will include brunch and photos with Santa, Appalachian Christmas music and vendor booths on the Rhea County Courthouse lawn. Visitors are invited to view the works included in the Rhea Arts Council's "2012 Christmas Art Exhibit" at ArtCrafters, 1356 Market St. A Christmas Critters pageant starts at 2 p.m., and the pets will be included in the parade through town at 4:30 p.m. Christmas caroling at the courthouse will follow the parade. Find an entry form for Christmas Critters participation at MainstreetDayton.org. 423-775-9847.

* Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. The annual Christmas parade will start at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The route follows Battlefield Parkway from the 700 block (at Office Depot and Cici's Pizza) south to LaFayette Road just before the Chickamauga Battlefield entrance. 706-861-4059.

* Marion County, Tenn. Towns in Marion County put up a united front, with three Christmas parades and a tour of homes on Saturday, Dec. 1. The parades start at 10 a.m. in South Pittsburg, 5 p.m. in Monteagle and 5:30 p.m. in Jasper (times are Central). The fifth annual Holiday Home Tour, presented by the Jasper Regional History Museum, is scheduled 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tickets to the self-guided tour are $10 and available at the first stop, the Remember House on Betsy Pack Drive in Jasper. Refreshments will be provided, and tourgoers also may purchase items in a holiday bake sale. 423-942-6649, 423-942-2233.

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