Blountville tree lightings tonight, Christmas parade on Saturday

J. H. Osborne • Dec 7, 2017 at 7:43 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — The Blountville Historic District will host a double tree-lighting ceremony in front of the historic Sullivan County Courthouse (3411 Hwy. 126) tonight. Continuing a tradition started last year, the event has a special tagline: "One Special Town ... Two Special Trees."

Festivities are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Special guests will include State Rep. Bud Hulsey and District Attorney General Barry Staubus. County Mayor Richard Venable will do the honor of lighting the town Christmas tree, a massive 30-foot blue spruce that adorns the front lawn of the courthouse.

Christmas caroling and other holiday music will be performed by the Blountville Middle School Choir under the direction of Darren Malcolm. A special rendition of "Silent Night" will be presented by Assistant District Attorney Emily Hutchins on violin along with Carolyn Barry on flute.

The lighting - and decoration - of a second tree was added to the event last year: the Hope for Victims Support and Advocacy Group will light a special tree in remembrance of victims of violence.

"It is in remembrance of everyone that has lost a loved one to homicide. Holidays can be extremely sad for families who have lost a loved one to violent crime. The remembrance tree gives families from East Tennessee the opportunity to do something special for their loved ones," Victims Remembrance Tree organizer Joan Berry said.

Local residents are encouraged to participate by bringing an ornament in honor of family members lost to violence.

Food vendors will be offering hot chocolate and a variety of other items including hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque, funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, nachos, chili cheese fries and more.

The Historic Blountville Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are sponsored by the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism and the partnership of the First Judicial District Attorney General’s Office and the local chapter of the Hope for Victims Support and Advocacy Group.

On Saturday, the annual Blountville Ruritan Christmas Parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Parade entrants will line up at Keystone Drive, and proceed on “The Great Stage Road,” (Highway 126 through the historic district) to courthouse. Line up at Keystone Drive is at 1 p.m. Participants are asked to have a Christmas theme on floats or vehicles. There is no registration fee, and anyone may participate.

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