Regal Festival of Lights 2012 . . . and More

Regal Festival of Lights, Lighting of the Christmas Tree Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012

I hope each and every one of you had a great Thanksgiving and days following. On Thanksgiving day, at the encouragement of one of our downtown friends, we joined a number of city residents in taking food to the local fire station, which started the day off in the right spirit. Urban Woman and myself then traveled to the suburbs where we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal, lovingly prepared for us in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Shaft. We followed the meal with that traditional movie favorite: Shaft’s Big Score. Nothing but a classic!

Decorations outside Coolato Gelato, Knoxville, November 2012
Krutch Park Before the Festivities, Knoxville, November 2012

Friday, Urban Father arrived just in time for the LSU/Arkansas game and we enjoyed a tiger victory along with Urban Son-in-law, Urban daughter and Urban Girl. Mr. and Mrs. Shaft joined us along the way. As the evening approached, we walked to Krutch Park for the Regal Festival of Lights which centers on the lighting of the largest Christmas tree in the city. Urban Girl and I had visited the spot a few days earlier and enjoyed the stage to ourselves. Not so much that night as the crowd swelled well beyond the borders of the park.

Crowd waiting for the Lighting, Regal Festival of Lights, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012
Crowd awaiting the Lighting of the Christmas Tree, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012

I think I had over-prepared Urban Girl for the fireworks because she held her fingers over her ears for about a half hour while we waited for the lighting. Oddly, the first half of the fireworks shot over the tree and the finale fired over Market Square. It left the crow pretty confused as we could hear, but not see the end of the show. In the meantime, we listened to carols, heard from the mayor and saw Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Urban Family, Regal Festival of Lights, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012
Half-lighted tree, Regal Festival of Lights, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012
Lights, Fireworks and Snow! Regal Festival of Lights, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012

When the moment arrived, a technical difficulty prevented the entire tree from lighting for a few seconds. After that small lapse, the remainder of the tree shined into the night as the fireworks began firing. Sometime in the midst of the display, snow spewed from one side of the tree making the winter scene complete. Fortunately, the plummet in temperatures which lay in wait for the city didn’t happen until Saturday morning, leaving us cold enough to be festive, but not so cold that the snow was believable.

Urban Girl with Magic Wand, Relieved to have Survived the Fireworks
Santa and Mrs. Claus, Regal Festival of Lights, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012
Santa Waving at Urban Girl, Regal Festival of Lights, Krutch Park, Knoxville, November 2012

We walked back through the lovely lighted trees of Krutch Park and into Market Square where we watched the ice skaters doing a pretty good job for southerners. Restaurants, stores and vendors alike seemed to be busily selling their wares. River Sports Outfitters had a bit of a slow period until they realized their door had mysteriously locked, keeping any potential customers at bay. WDVX had their annual Ho Ho Hoedown pumping out the bluegrass music from the Market Square Stage. Large crowds reveled in the festive atmosphere. The huge crowds had to include some Kentucky fans in for the game, who must have thought, “Knoxville is amazing.” Of course, they are correct.

Ice Skating, Market Square, Knoxville, November 2012
Ho, Ho, Hoedown, Market Square, Knoxville, November 2012
Young Fan at the Ho, Ho, Hoedown, Market Square, Knoxville, November 2012

The Urban family and friends had a little unfinished business back at the house, however: the traditional Thanksgiving seafood gumbo! Lovingly prepared by Urban Woman, we settled into a fine meal served on a beautiful table. After eating all we could manage, the massive pot looked as if we hadn’t even begun. That means leftover gumbo for days. And that’s a good thing!

Thanksgiving Gumbo, Knoxville, November 2012

A little desert, music and story-telling finished off the night in lovely style. I hope yours was just as enjoyable. I heard there was something called “Black Friday” going on and I missed that, entirely. I’m good with that.