BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
As November becomes a distant memory, area residents will have no choice but to embrace the holiday cheer headed their way this month of December.
While the National Weather Service forecasts heavy rain for Friday and Saturday, thankfully most holiday events this weekend will take place indoors, whereas Sunday is expected to have clear skies with a high near 70 – perfect weather to bring the family out to the Thompson’s Station Tree Lighting Ceremony.
So without further adieu, here are six awesome holiday activities to get up to this weekend in Spring Hill and Thompson’s Station.
Holiday Station Marketplace
Where: Spring Station Middle School, 1000 Spring Station Road, Spring Hill, TN 37174
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Spring Station Middle School’s eighth annual Holiday Station Marketplace will commence this Saturday and is set to feature food trucks, live music and performances, and well over 100 vendors.
All proceeds for the event will be going towards helping support the Spring Station Middle School band in purchasing equipment such as instruments, chairs, stands and more.
“It’s just a great way to start the first of December off with having a place to go do your Christmas shopping,” said Rikki Hack, who has helped organized the event since its inception eight years ago. “There’s so many things to choose from; lots of homemade items, baked goods, candies, all kinds of woodwork and pottery, boutique clothing. We don’t really have anything on this level in this area.”
The event will feature live performances from Stage Right School of Performing Arts, as well as from local musician StevieRocks. The event will also have gift-wrapping for holiday shoppers for their convenience.
Admission to the event is $3, and may be purchased at the door.
Where: Church of the City, 4910 Main Street, Spring Hill, TN 37174
When: Saturday, 5 – 7 p.m.
The Church of the City in Spring Hill will be throwing a Winter Extravaganza this Saturday for the community featuring Christmas carols, a petting zoo, bounce houses and more.
Santa will be visiting the event, offering free photos with children (and be sure to check out the Home Page’s Spring Hill Santa guide for his future visits by clicking here), and food from Chick-fil-A and hot cocoa will be served.
The event is free to attend, and also features crafts, Christmas movies and much more.
Thompson’s Station Tree Lighting Ceremony
Where: Sarah Benson Park, 1513 Thompson’s Station Road West, Thompson’s Station, TN 37179
When: Sunday, 4 – 6 p.m.
Christmas Carols, a visit from Santa and cookie contests will all be part of the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony set to kick off this weekend at Sarah Benson Park in Thompson’s Station.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. with a visit from Santa, where kids will have the opportunity for photos throughout the duration of the event. At 4:15, the Thompson’s Station Elementary School choir will begin singing Christmas carols, followed by a performance from the Thompson’s Station Middle School choir at 4:45 p.m.
At 5 p.m., Mayor Corey Napier will give a brief speech to guests before the lighting of the tree, followed by a performance from the Heritage Middle School choir at 5:30 p.m.
The cookie contest will seek winners in five different categories; most festive, most original, best tasting, most creative, and best all-around cookie. Only 25 spots are available for the cookie contest, and participants may sign up for free online by clicking here. All cookies must be submitted on the day of the event by 5 p.m. to be considered for the contest.
Polar Express Experience
Where: Independence High School, 1776 Declaration Way, Thompson’s Station, TN 37179
When: Saturday, 2 and 5 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m.
Independence High School will be presenting three performances of its theatrical adaptation of Polar Express this Saturday and Sunday, which features the participation of 100 Independence High students.
Two performances are scheduled for Saturday, one at 2 p.m., and another at 5 p.m., with one performance on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The event, which features multiple pre-show activities such as face-paintings and letter writings to Santa, costs $8 per person if purchased in advance, or $10 if purchased at the door. Tickets may be purchased in advance online by clicking here.
Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas in keeping with the theme of Polar Express, in which children are whisked away on a magical adventure in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve.
PJs and Pancakes
Where: Allendale Elementary, 2100 Prescott Way, Spring Hill, TN 37174
When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
The only thing better than eating pancakes for breakfast might have to be eating them in your pajamas, so drop by and do both at Allendale Elementary’s PJs and Pancakes, where families can enjoy pancakes while taking selfies with santa, getting face paintings and doing crafts.
Tickets to the event are $8, or $25 for a family of four or more. Tickets may be purchased at the door, or in advance by clicking here.
Franktown’s Festival of Lights
Where: Williamson County Ag Expo Park, 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064
When: 6 – 10 p.m., 7 days a week through December 29
The single best place to get into the holiday spirit this weekend would have to be the Festival of Lights, Williamson County’s only drive-thru light show, in south Franklin just outside Thompson’s Station.
Held at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center, the light show is a mile-long stretch of road that features just about every kind of Christmas-themed lights and displays one could imagine., with many lights synchronized to popular holiday tunes. Drivers can listen along in their vehicles by tuning their radios to the posted stations.
“These are the classic, nostalgic scenes like you would have gone through in the ’50s,” FrankTown’s executive director Chris Barnhill said. “We’ll have the 12 Days of Christmas, we have Santa and his elves working in the Santa Village, we have a sports fan section. It’s just a really neat Christmas, family-friendly setting.”
Tickets are $25 for normal vehicles with 14 passengers or less, and $35 for large vehicles such as buses with more than 14 passengers, and may be purchased online by clicking here.
What makes this event even more appropriate for the holidays is where the proceeds go towards – Franktown Open Hearts, which helps at-risk inner-city youth through a variety of outreach programs that equip them with the skills and confidence to succeed in life.