COOKEVILLE – Community spirit, Santa and a nearly 40-foot-tall Christmas tree came together Dec. 3 for the City of Cookeville’s third annual Christmas in the Park Tree-Lighting Ceremony at Dogwood Park.
“We had a beautiful evening and another large, enthusiastic crowd to celebrate this awesome event and the beginning of the holiday season,” Cookeville Leisure Services Director Rick Woods said.
Santa “flipped the switch” to light a tree erected over the fountain. A Christmas Celebration Service, with caroling by several school, community and church groups, followed.
Festivities concluded with a 15-minute Christmas tree lightshow synchronized to music, along with fireworks. (The lightshow repeats every hour on the hour from 5-9 p.m. through Jan. 1.)
The tree-lighting ceremony was part of the city’s month-long Christmas in the Park celebration, which will also include a Santa House and Polar Play Zone.
“Santa will be in Dogwood Park five different days prior to Christmas to visit with children and refine his gift list,” Woods said.
The jolly guy and his elves will be in the little red Santa House, just off the path leading to the Christmas tree, for free photo opportunities Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17 from 1-4 p.m. and Dec. 18 from 4-7 p.m. Bring a camera.
POLAR PLAY ZONE
“Then, after Christmas day, we will continue to celebrate downtown with the Polar Play Zone,” Woods added.
Polar Play Zone (which replaces Downtown Ice) will be open Dec. 26-30 in the Fleming Avenue parking lot across from Dogwood Park on Broad Street. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 2-8 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from noon-8 p.m.
The event features five inflatable attractions – Snowzilla Ski Slope Slide, Everest Climb & Slide, Polar Golf, Snowman Bouncy and Snowmazing Maze House. The cost is $5 for a five-trip ticket, which may be used for any attraction and by more than one person.
Advance tickets may be purchased through Dec. 23 at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center, 10 E. Broad St. Call 931-528-1313 for more information.
FESTIVE PARK DISPLAYS
In addition to Christmas in the Park activities, Dogwood Park features numerous festive decorations.
“We’ve added some new decorations,” Woods said. “All of our lamp posts are wrapped with garland and ‘tied’ with a colorful bow. Also, a beautifully lit archway has been placed near the park entry after the tree lighting ceremony, providing another photo op for park visitors.”
For more information, call Cookeville Leisure Services at 931-520-4386 or visit www.cookeville-tn.org/ls.