‘Celebrate Season, Light Park’ cancelled

The holidays in Farragut are going to look a bit different this year, but just as Dr. Seuss advised so many years ago, “Christmas will come just the same.”

Officials are promising five weeks of sparkling holiday lights, beginning at the commuter lot next to Town of Farragut Welcome Sign, and continuing into Town — but due to continued COVID-19 concerns, both “Countdown to Light the Park (normally held in Founder’s Park) and Celebrate the Season (normally held at Town Hall)” have been cancelled, according to Town Park and Recreation director Sue Stuhl.

“We do have plenty of good news to share, however,” Stuhl said. “The lights will be on by Tuesday, Nov. 24 (just before Thanksgiving), and there will be more lights this year spread out between Founders Park, the Campbell Station Inn Plaza (at the corner of Kingston Pike and North Campbell Station Road) and the Farragut Community Center (at the corner of Jamestown Boulevard and North Campbell Station Road).

“This will make for a great family walk to view the lights while keeping safe by physical distancing,” she added. “Parking is available at any of those three locations.”

Expansion of Light the Park was funded by federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act money granted to Visit Farragut, in partnership with Visit Knoxville, from the state. “A portion of CARES funding is designated for tourism-related spending, including events that could be safely held during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a Town press release stated.

“Farragut’s portion of the Knox County Cares Act funding is approximately $75,000,” confirmed Wendy Smith, Town Marketing and Public Relations coordinator. “Light the Park is a good event to boost with these funds because it’s outdoors and spread out, so we put together a plan for how we could use the money to beef up the event and make it a real driver for tourism.

“The funds will cover expansion of the lights, additional signage and security and marketing geared at out-of-town visitors who will spend money here and stay in our hotels.”

The lights will continue through Sunday, Jan. 3. “Another bit of good news is that there will be a special giveaway or entertainment from local organizations or businesses at Founders Park on many of the nights between Nov. 24 and Dec. 23,” Stuhl said.

During Light the Park, an array of socially-distant activities and giveaways will be offered, including storybook trails, caroling, grab-and-go craft kits, snacks, candy canes, many of which had been activities typically undertaken during Celebrate the Season.

Those wishing participate as a caroler (which must be families or small groups only) or vendor (grab-and-go items only) are advised to reserve a few hour-long spaces remain between Nov. 24 and Dec. 23.

Contact Special Program and Event coordinator Brittany Spencer at bspencer@townoffarragut.org or call 865-218-3376 to sign up.

A calendar detailing all activities became available at www.visitfarragut.org earlier this week.