Tradition; pairing 2 holiday events

Published 3:32 pm Friday, November 18, 2022

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Contributing writer

Tradition!! The Claiborne Economic Partnership and the Claiborne County Tourism Commission teamed up to bring us “A Claiborne County Christmas.” It was originally a festival of trees and held at Walter State Community College. When COVID caused indoor activities to be cancelled, I still wanted to do something to bring Christmas spirit to our county that no one else does. I came up with the idea of a lighted tractor parade dedicated to our agricultural heritage. The first parade was in 2020. The response was overwhelming – “Please make this a yearly event!!” And thus, a tradition was born!!

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“A Claiborne County Christmas” is Saturday, November 19, 2022, on Main Street in Tazewell. The festival begins immediately after the New Tazewell Merchants’ Parade at 1:00 p.m. Come on down to Tazewell after the Merchants’ parade and enjoy the festival in Tazewell.

The street will be lined with vendors selling lots of different things, food trucks, motorcycle show and children’s activities. There will be a nine-hole putt-putt course and children’s activities for no charge. Santa will be in front of the chamber office from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. so children can see him and parents can take pictures with their cell phones.  Santa’s elves will be giving out jingle bells to ring during the parade. There will be a “Letters to Santa” station with the “Magic Mailbox” to Santa. “A Claiborne County Christmas” tee-shirts will be available.

Music begins at 1:30 p.m. on the stage next to David Stanifer’s office. Performers include Jackson Bledsoe, Jaelyn & Taylor Pressnell, Clouds Memorial Baptist Church choir, Haley Eversole, and Kelsey Bryant. At 5:00 p.m., children will be invited to take a seat in front of the stage while Aaron Young reads the Christmas Story.

At dusk, the motorcycles in the show will drive down Main Street as the Christmas lights come on to look like a Hallmark movie. Immediately after the fun begins – the lighted tractor parade!!!! It is dedicated to Claiborne County’s agricultural heritage. The grand marshals are the county’s oldest active farmers – all over 90 years old! They are Carl Bolton, George Malone, Bill Jennings, and Bill Heath. George Malone will lead and pull up to the courthouse and yell, “Light ‘em up!!” and the courthouse trees will come to life! They will be followed by 25 or more lighted tractors and some floats. It is a sight to behold! Christmas music will be played in front of the courthouse to make the Christmas spirit even higher.

It is sure to bring a smile to the eyes of the young and the old!