Mayor’s Tree Lighting on Friday Kicks Off 61st Annual Christmas Parade
Eric Close and Aubrey Peeples of the “Nashville” TV show to Participate
Brenda Lee to Make Guest Appearance
Nashville Symphony Chorus and Barbershop Quartet ‘Lunch Break’ to Perform
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The city’s annual tree lighting ceremony will be held on the Public Square this Friday, Dec. 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. The event will serve as the official kickoff for the 61st Annual Nashville Christmas Parade, which will begin at the Public Square at 7 p.m.
Mayor Karl Dean will be joined by television and film actor Eric Close, who plays Mayor Teddy Conrad on ABC’s hit television show “Nashville.” Close will join Mayor Dean in flipping the switch to turn on 5,000 multicolored LED lights decorating the tree. Close will serve as grand marshal of the Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade.
Close’s co-star Aubrey Peeples, who plays Layla Grant on the “Nashville” show, will perform Merry Christmas Baby, a selection from Christmas with Nashville, an album of holiday standards and originals sung by the Nashville cast and released by Big Machine Records.
Grammy-nominated Brenda Lee, who is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is best known for her rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” is scheduled to make a special guest appearance.
The ceremony will include performances by the Nashville Symphony Chorus, which will perform Carol of the Bells, O Come O Come Emmanuel, Ding Dong Merrily on High and the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. The all-volunteer choral group, which is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, is directed by Nashville Symphony Choral Director Kelly Corcoran. Lunch Break, a quartet from the Barbershop Harmony Society, will make its eighth consecutive appearance to perform The Chipmunk Song and Here Comes Santa Claus. Anne Holt, anchor at News 2, will emcee.
This year’s tree is a 38-foot Norway Spruce that was donated Roger and Cammy Price of Brentwood in Davidson County, with the assistance of Arbor Art Tree Care Inc. Immediately following the tree lighting ceremony, the Christmas Parade will begin at Public Square, travel south on Second Avenue and west on Broadway before ending at Eighth Avenue.
Hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will be available at the tree lighting, donated by The District, the merchant organization that represents Second Avenue and Historic Lower Broadway.