29th Annual Fantasy of Trees Rings in Knoxville’s Holiday Season
Fantasy of Trees is THE EVENT that puts East Tennessee into a party mood every year. No escaping its allure — you will hum “Jingle Bells” for the next six weeks.
Glitter and glam, toys and tots, music and dance. This sparkling entertainment package officially marks the beginning of the holiday season for the more than 50,000 people who attend each year.
In its 29th year, Fantasy of Trees has a “Christmas on Main Street” theme this year. Activities for the Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2013 event will be at the Knoxville Convention Center, located at Clinch Avenue and Henley Street.
Fantasy’s Main Street will fill with hundreds of children for the Babes in Toyland Parade, touted as the “first and only indoor” Christmas Parade of the season. A marching band, costume characters, and Santa — of course! — will be at this 7 p.m. Wednesday event. Kris Kringles’s Kiddie Party on Friday morning will have lots of musical entertainment.
School choirs, Suzuki string musicians, stage troupes, and dancers are among the musical programs to be performed throughout the five days.
If you walk through the crowd and ask people why they come year after year, you might hear about the fun events, like the Santa’s Senior Stroll on Friday, or the ongoing children’s craft activities, or the visits with Santa. It is after all a magical wonderland for children young and old.
I’m guessing that the number one reason, however, is the fancy display of decorated trees. Hundreds of evergreens wear luxuriant velvet bows, twinkling lights, glass ornaments, and shiny trinkets. Designers outdo themselves to create a memorable scene, complete with lavishly trimmed fireplace mantels and heaps of toys and wrapped gifts.
This forest spans the length and width of the convention center, leaving only a small space for the old-fashioned 30-horse carousel, the gingerbread village, and the marketplace.
The thousands of volunteers who help stage this extravaganza believe in something more than colorful light displays. Fantasy of Trees celebrates the spirit of giving. This seasonal event benefits East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, a medical center that serves the sick and injured children of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina. Over the years, Fantasy of Trees has brought more than $6.3 million to the hospital.
Friends and family get together at the Fantasy of Trees each season to ring in the holiday fun.
Hours for the stellar occasion are 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; Thanksgiving Day, 3 p.m.- 9 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.fantasyoftrees.org; adults $12, children ages 4-12 $6, and children age 3 and under are admitted free.