News Flash

Leisure Services

Posted on: November 20, 2018

Christmas in the Park offers carousel rides, holiday movies, concert and more

Christmas in the park at Dogwood Park

COOKEVILLE – Santa’s elves have been busy at Dogwood Park preparing for the city’s fourth annual Christmas in the Park.

Festivities begin Dec. 2 with a Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Christmas Celebration Service at 6 p.m. and will continue throughout the month featuring new additions – carousel rides, holiday movies and a concert – as well as Santa House and decorations throughout the park. All activities are free.

“It’s an awesome community event – one of those Hallmark-type moments,” Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said of the tree-lighting ceremony, during which attendees gather with Santa as the lights are turned on, illuminating a nearly 40-foot-tall Christmas tree. The event will also include singing by several school, community and church choirs, choruses and music groups. It will conclude with a fireworks show.

 “We’ve got a couple of surprises, too,” Shelton said. “You’ll have to be there that night to see what those are.”

Afterward, a 15-minute Christmas tree light show synchronized to holiday music begins at 7 p.m. and will continue nightly throughout the holiday season at the top of the hour from 5-9 p.m.

Cookeville Leisure Services Director Rick Woods said park visitors will notice some changes to this year’s tree.

“We have a new design for the base, complete with wrapped packages to fit nicely under the tree,” he said. “We’re also adding lit snowflakes to the tree’s decorations which will be incorporated in the light show.”

The light show itself will feature some new music tracks.

“If you think you’ve already seen the show, come enjoy a new version,” Woods said.

All Christmas in the Park activities will take place inside Dogwood Park.

Carousel rides will be available in the area behind the Cookeville History Museum Dec. 13-26: Monday through Friday, 3-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

Santa House, where children can visit with the jolly old elf, will be near the carousel and easily accessible from Broad Street. Times are Dec. 14, 4-7 p.m.; Dec. 15-16, 1-4 p.m.; Dec. 17 and 21, 4-7 p.m.; and Dec. 22, 1-4 p.m. Participants should bring a camera.

A double feature of Christmas movies – “Polar Express” with Tom Hanks and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey – will be shown Dec. 15 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion.

Then on Dec. 16, a Christmas concert will be held 2-4 p.m., also at the performance pavilion.

“We’re excited about these events,” Shelton said. “We know they will be neat experiences for families and friends.”

Movie and concert attendees should bring lawn chairs and blankets. Concessions, including hot chocolate and coffee, will be available during events to be held Dec. 13-23.

Woods said Leisure Services is pleased to do its part to provide activities in Dogwood Park during the holiday season.

“Having the park all decked out makes it a special place to visit and congregate during the holidays,” he said.

Shelton said Christmas in the Park, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, takes “tremendous teamwork.”

“Leisure Services does such a great job setting it all up,” he said. “I call them the Leisure Services elves.”

Shelton also encourages citizens to enjoy the new downtown decorations – 40 LED snowflakes on lampposts around the Cookeville Courthouse Square and along Broad Street – made possible through a partnership between the City of Cookeville and Putnam County.

Participation in all Christmas in the Park activities is free thanks to these sponsors: Nissan of Cookeville, Cash Express, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, City of Cookeville, Putnam County, Averitt Express, Twin Lakes, Rogers Group, REP TN, First National Bank, Vulcan Materials, Publix, McGriff Insurance, Lite Rock 95.9, 106.9 Kicks Country, Rock 93.7, News Talk 94.1, Roland Digital Media and Better Cookeville.

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