While Christmas celebrations in your own back yard are not to be missed, sometimes to get into the holiday spirit a holiday trip is just what it takes. Recently on a hosted trip to Clarksville, Tennessee my mom, Lori Disque came along and Visit Clarksville’s Michelle Dickerson showed us that they know how to celebrate the holiday in Clarksville. I must say, they do it right! By the time we left, we had Christmas songs ringing in our ears and Christmas in our heart.
Franklin Street and Beyond
Our first stop when arriving in Clarksville was a walk down Franklin Street where all the trees are lit and the shops are all decorated for the holidays. A couple of days later we stopped in several of the shops and enjoyed the creative ways they have decorated for the season. Not only were we able to find a few presents while shopping, but the artistic décor caught our eye as well. One shop even had upside down Christmas trees, a phenomenon I had heard of, but never saw!
Holiday sights at the Customs Museum
A tour of the Customs Museum while not specifically holiday related when we took our tour, gave us a great background of the history of this river city where tobacco was Queen, and the Union army once occupied the town. The museum is a blend of art and history and the gift shop offers a wonderful array of gift items to choose from. A beautiful Tom Rice bird almost made its way home with us along with some pottery that was lovely and priced right. December 7th is the big night for festivities at the museum when they will feature their Noel Night.
Christmas on the Cumberland
The beautiful Cumberland River winds its way through the city and to kick off the holidays, the city event opened on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. “There are over two million lights,” Michelle’s said when we walked along this amazing half mile lighted river walk.
Lights reflect on the water offering a panorama of lights of all colors. Christmas scenes come to life through the lights, some moving and some still. People of all ages, and lots of children and dogs joined families in the festivities that will remain up until January 2nd. The lights turn on at 5:00 p.m. and stay lit until 11:00 offering a free, fun magical introduction to the happiest season of all.
During our visit, we were able to take a tour and hear the heart wrenching stories of Fort Defiance through Tracy Jepson, the Associate Historical Interpreter. This visit makes me wish I would be available to attend the December 9th “Christmas in Occupied Clarksville”. The event takes place from 4-5 and I’d love to be there!
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Roxy
What can bring Christmas home better than a heartfelt story and Charlie Brown at that? We had the wonderful opportunity to join a group of 4th graders and watch the performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in all of its glory. All the cast was there from Lucy with her sarcasm and big heart, to Charlie Brown, who just can’t get a break and Snoopy with more personality than any Beagle I know. The story was wonderful and reflected the real meaning of Christmas. Besides the wonder of this time proven story, the location in the Roxy which was built originally in 1947 as a movie house, is an architectural gem. Before the play, we had the grand opportunity to meet Ryan Bowie, who played Schroeder, and serves as the Executive Director of the Roxie.
The play opened on November 23 and will run until December 16th. Visit the website for details.
Trees of Christmas at the Smith Trahern Mansion
One of my favorite activities is to peruse historical mansions, and we were able to tour the mansion while trees were being set up. Former Director Martha Pile was on hand, and current Director Debbie Johnson gave us a tour of this beautiful home they called, “The Queen of Clarksville”. Built in 1858, the time was when tobacco was the reigning commodity being shipped on the Cumberland to New Orleans and beyond. Debbie brought the house to life and shared the beautiful trees and introduced us to the hard working volunteers, many that Martha said, have been doing this for over 30 years. The trees were lovely, but my favorite Christmas decoration was the hand painted nativity scene on the second floor. The event officially opens on Sunday, December 2nd.
Tour of Trees at the First Baptist Church
The reason for the season all comes together at the First Baptist Church in downtown Clarksville where 30 lovely decorated trees were all on display. This was our last event before heading out of town and was so memorable with the trees telling the story of Christ. Michelle was able to take us through this beautiful display which opens officially on December 4th. Open Monday, Wednesday and Fridays during December from 10-1, don’t miss this stop.
Clarksville will also have a Christmas Parade and several other events during the season. The city offered us a chance to ignite our holiday cheer and I hope you get a chance to visit Clarksville and see all they have to offer!