While the annual Christmas tree lighting in downtown Franklin typically draws scores of people to the town square for a celebration, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on the tradition this year.
That doesn’t mean, however, there won’t be a tree lighting ceremony.
The city of Franklin will be hosting a virtual event that will allow folks to watch the tree lighting festivities while enjoying their pumpkin pie in the comfort of home. The event will be broadcast Thanksgiving evening at 6 through various social media channels and on Franklin TV.
In addition to the flipping of the switch by Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and a representative from Middle Tennessee Electric, the evening will also feature something akin to a movie and music video featuring The Shindellas as they look for the Christmas spirit and Santa Claus in iconic Franklin locations.
“First and foremost, we want our citizens to be safe, but still enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas,” City Administrator Eric Stuckey said in a press release. “Our Communications Division with the support of annual sponsors Middle Tennessee Electric and Williamson Medical Center have created a wonderful virtual program featuring Franklin’s own Shindellas, a modern vocal girl group, and the Freedom Intermediate School Choir.
“The program will air on the city’s social channels and Franklin TV on Thanksgiving night. People can come down to the square and drive by the beautiful tree after the program and throughout the holiday season.”
The virtual tree lighting program is written like a movie and music video, according to the press release. In addition to featuring the Shindellas — Kasi Jones, Stacy Johnson and Tamara Chauniece — in downtown Franklin, the trio made a stop at Franklin Intermediate School to hear the young voices of the school choir.
The program was videotaped last week in downtown Franklin. The program will premiere on the following social channels
- City’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/cityoffranklin
- City Instagram www.instagram.com/cityoffranklintn
- City YouTube www.youtube.com/cityoffanklin and will air on
- Franklin TV www.franklintn.gov/franklintv
- The program will also be simulcast on WAKM-950 radio.
The city is asking followers to share the video and create watch parties so all of Franklin and others from around the world can experience this special event.
Other holiday events in Franklin include a festive holiday drive-thru light display on Dec. 4-5 at Eastern Flank Battlefield Park from 5-8 p.m. and the Franklin Fire Department’s Santa visits through neighborhoods every weekend in December through Christmas.