Franklin Square holds annual holiday event

Photos with Santa and horse-and-carriage rides were the big draws when Franklin Square held its annual Holiday on the Square.

Franklin Square Merchants Association hosted the event Saturday, Dec. 3, in the shopping center at 9700 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. Holiday on the Square also featured a puppet show and Smart Toys and Books provided a balloon artist and children’s crafts.

“We come every year to see Santa, Knoxville resident Sarah Reid said.

“This is our 25th year of holding the event, Colby Leach, managing partner of The Chop House and president of Franklin Square Merchants Association, said. “We’re very pleased, obviously.

“As you can see from the line, Santa is very popular. There was a line an hour before Santa even arrived.”

Leach estimated at least 300 to 400 attendees came to the event throughout the day.

“We’ve never tried this Santa before and a friend told me about [the event], so we decided to try it,” Yegi Cole, a former Farragut resident, said.

Attendees also were entertained by cast members of Pellissippi State Community College’s upcoming play, “Jingle Bells Batman Smells,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11, at Clayton Performing Arts Center at 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville.

Julie Hadler of West Knoxville said her family saw the signs in front of Franklin Square and decided to come and see what it was about.

Lauren Jordan said her family saw the event on Instagram.

“We usually go to Weiss Baby and Smart Toys & Books,” she said. “We really like the area.”

“We just came out to celebrate the season with family,” Lindsay Bradson said.

“The carriage ride is our favorite,” Farragut resident James Rasmussen said. “We saw the line for Santa.”

“I like the water,” Rasmus-sen’s son, Brandon Rasmussen, said about the creeks in the shopping center.

Elizabeth Kruse, 8, said her favorite thing about the event was seeing the horses.

“We would put one in the back yard if we could,” she said.

“It’s always a fun event,” Leach said. “There are families who have been coming for decades, and now those children are bringing their own children.

“It’s been a lot of families’ tradition to come and spend the day at Franklin Square the first Saturday in December.”

“We’ve come out to this for years,” Jesse Garcia said.

“We come almost every year,” Shannon Cruze said. “We love it.

“We went to the parade [in downtown Knoxville] last night, and now this [event],” she said. “This is our holiday weekend.”

Taylor Branscomb of Knoxville said she got an e-mail from Smart Toys and Books.

“I think the event is great,” she said. “It’s something simple and easy to take the children. They have been looking forward to it all day.”

Michelle Holland said she saw the event in Instagram and decided to come out.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. “It’s cute.” This was Holland’s first year attending Holiday on the Square.

“I saw it last year, but we actually didn’t go. We decided to try it this year,” she said. “It’s a great little community thing.”

“The kids love it,” Leach said. “I think it’s a great little event every year.”