Whether you describe this year as a time of “growth” or a never-ending saga of despair and disappointment, it’s a safe bet that you’re ready to say adios to 2020. The good news is that Farragut can help you end the year on very bright note.
The town’s annual holiday light display, Light the Park, has been expanded to provide even more seasonal magic as well as more space for socially-distant viewing. Lighted trees now begin at the commuter lot just south of I-40 and extend past Founders Park at Campbell Station to the Farragut Community Center and the Campbell Station Inn. Additional parking at the community center and Campbell Station Inn Plaza will allow people to enjoy the lights with a stroll along Campbell Station Road.
The expansion of the lights was made possible through Tennessee CARES Act funding earmarked specifically for tourism. The town worked with Visit Knoxville to create a plan for utilizing Knox County’s funds, and Light the Park fit well with the state’s mandate to encourage tourism in a COVID-safe manner.
“Light the Park was already an event that draws visitors from across the area. Through the CARES Act funding, we were able to make the lights even better and market Farragut as a great place to have a seasonal experience that includes shopping, dining and a hotel stay,” says tourism coordinator Karen Tindal. “Our goal is to make a good impression that visitors will remember when they plan future travel.”
Countdown to Light the Park, the annual kickoff event, was canceled this year, but other activities were added to encourage visits to Founders Park throughout the holiday season. Vendors will pass out treats and other fun items nightly, and carolers may also perform on the Founders Park stage. See the schedule at VisitFarragut.org/light-the-park. Limited spots for vendors and carolers are still available; contact Brittany Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-218-3376 for more information.
A new storybook trail will create holiday fun even during daytime visits to the park. Signs with pages from three classic winter stories will be spaced along walk trails to encourage both reading and exercise. (Be sure to go backwards along the storybook trail for some corny holiday jokes that are sure to make kids of all ages smile!)
The ever-popular Santa’s Mailbox will return this year, and kids who mail their letters by Dec. 20 will likely get a reply from the Man in Red himself if they include a return address. If you happen to be at the park at just the right time, you might catch a glimpse of daily mail pickup by a friendly elf. (But please, don’t feed the elf. It might make him nap when he should be working.)
The holiday magic in Farragut begins at dusk on Tuesday, Nov. 24, and lights come on nightly through Sunday, Jan. 3. Park restrooms will be open until 10 p.m. every evening except Dec. 25.
Holiday lights can’t make the problems of 2020 go away, but Karen thinks they can lift spirits.
“This year, I think people need joy more than ever, and you just can’t see our holiday lights without feeling joyful.”
Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.