MainStreet ready to open season with tree lighting, carols
by Special to the Banner
Dec 01, 2013 | 1140 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After the Black Friday shopping blitz, a weekend packed with events in downtown Cleveland are in store.

From the community Christmas Tree lighting to a Christmas concert, area residents could just have a busy weekend in store.

Kicking off the Christmas holiday season will be the city and county mayors, as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Sharon Marr, executive director of MainStreet, said events begin with the community Christmas Tree lighting, followed by Carols in the City.

Events will begin Friday at 6 p.m. on the steps of the Post Office (Courthouse Annex) on Broad Street. This year’s theme is “A Classic Christmas in Cleveland.”

Christmas greetings will be given by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis. Santa and Mrs. Claus will help light the giant tree beside the front steps.

First Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir kicks off the evening of music with a performance at the Post Office steps.

Once the tree is lit, the audience will enjoy choir performances at the churches in Historic Downtown Cleveland.

In “reverse caroling” fashion, the audience will walk together to Broad Street United Methodist Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church Children’s Choir at the Lee University Church Street Annex, First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and end at the Courthouse Plaza with the finale by Cleveland State Community College’s Vocal Rhapsody.

“This event is so heart-warming and charming,” explained Melissa Woody, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau and event chairperson. “It will definitely fill you with joy and a warm holiday spirit. We look forward to a wonderful evening.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the bandstand at the Courthouse Plaza to greet children and for photos. Parents should bring cameras to capture this special visit with Santa. Enjoy free carriage rides in historic downtown until 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the annual Christmas parade begins at 6 p.m. and travels through historic downtown. It’s one of Cleveland’s longest running and most popular holiday traditions.

“So much creativity and hard work goes into these floats. It is truly a festive event,” said Marr.

All parade entries will feature holiday lights and decorations.

The parade departs from Bradley Central High School, travels north on South Lee Highway to 3rd Street, north on Ocoee Street, around the monument, south on Broad Street, continues on to Inman Street, and back to South Lee Highway to the school.

For more information, call the MainStreet office at 479-1000 or visit the website at www.mainstreetcleveland.com.

The weekend of holiday events concludes with the Lee University School of Music presenting its 25th annual "A Classic Christmas" on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Conn Center.

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public. However, tickets are required due to limited seating. For ticket reservation and information, call the box office at 423-614-8343.