The sprint to Christmas Day is on and that means the calendar is jam-packed with festivities and events. Here are a few of the highlights.
NASHVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE
Saturday, December 7 | 8:30 a.m.
Corner of North First Avenue and Union Street
The Nashville Christmas Parade has marched through town every year since 1928. This year’s lineup includes floats, marching bands, balloons, dancers and, of course, lots of live music. The parade begins on North First Avenue at Union Street, travels south to Broadway where it turns right before terminating at Eighth Avenue. For parking and other information, visit NashvilleChristmasParade.com.
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
3777 Nolensville Pike
Nightly thru December 30 | 5 to 9 p.m. | Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Visit the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival with over 500 custom-made silk lanterns spread across 60 acres, featuring your favorite zoo animals, holiday-themed scenes, a 200-foot-long dragon and more. Tickets available online at NashvilleZoo.org.
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
1200 Forest Park Drive
Nightly thru January 5 | 5 to 10 p.m. | Closed Christmas Day
Cheekwood features at least 20 seasonal events and exhibits, including Reindeer Village. But Holiday Lights is the highlight. Each night, Cheekwood glows with the magic of the season creating the backdrop for lasting holiday memories. Cheekwood’s one-mile loop is filled with over one million lights, 500,000 light strings, dozens of photo ops and more. Tickets may be purchased online at Cheekwood.org.
FRANKLIN KIWANIS CHRISTMAS PARADE
Saturday, December 7 | 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Celebrate the sights and sounds of Christmas as this annual parade winds through the streets of downtown Franklin. The parade will celebrate “Holiday Heros” and the arrival of Santa Claus. More information is available at VisitFranklin.com.
HOLIDAY IN HILLSBORO VILLAGE
Saturday, December 7 | 4 to 7 p.m.
The annual “Holiday in Hillsboro Village” features music, food and shopping. Many area restaurants and businesses will be open later beyond the conclusion of this family friendly event. Special dining and shopping deals will be available, Photos with Santa at Fido’s in exchange for a toy donation.
35TH ANNUAL DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS
Saturday, December 14 | 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 15 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Main Street in Downtown Franklin
The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s 35th Annual Dickens of a Christmas presented by First Citizens National Bank will return to downtown Franklin on Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15. Recently recognized as third on the list of “Most Magical Christmas Towns and Villages Across the World” by O, The Oprah Magazine, Franklin serves as an authentic backdrop to this Victorian-era theatrical street festival. Admission is free and open to the public. Additional information is available at WilliamsonHeritage.org.