More than 600 people gathered on Town Square in Franklin on Friday night to participate in the annual Tree Lighting ceremony. This year, the tree was moved across the street to the Gazebo and sits smack dab in the center of town. The tree that had previously been used over the holiday season had to be cut down, according to Linda Schlott, Executive Director of Franklin's Main Street Program, precipitating the need for a different plan.
Unlike in previous years, the new Christmas tree is an artificial tree that can be used each year. “With the new tree being artificial, we will be able to use it year after year,” said Schlott. “The tree is 22 feet tall and with setup and decorations, it took about eight hours to complete. We have gotten lots of compliments so far. We had a great turnout Friday night and had lots of people posing with the tree and Santa.”
According to Schlott, all of the cookies and hot cider available were given out to participants, as well as more than 600 candles, which were used during the candlelight ceremony in front of the nativity scene by the courthouse. The candlelight service was made possible by the downtown merchants and was led again this year by Vic and Janet Green. This year, there was special music by David Moffitt as well as traditional carols with the whole crowd joining in.
Following Friday night's Christmas Tree Lighting, was Cookies with Santa at Town Hall on Saturday. Children of all ages went to Town Hall to have a snack and visit with Santa. They were even given an opportunity to write a letter to Santa and place it in a special mailbox in front of Town Hall. Each letter placed in Santa's mailbox will receive a special response from Santa himself, so be sure to include the proper return address. The mailbox will be available until Friday, Dec. 14.
Next up is Winter Wonderland slated for Friday, Dec. 7, from 5-9 in downtown Franklin with wagon rides, live music, ice sculpting and more.