I hope each of you had a great weekend. Christmas activities continue to dominate the downtown landscape and, incredibly, it’s all over next week and we’ll be on to New Year and beyond. We took a little pause from Christmas for a quiet evening Friday at the Bistro at the Bijou with its excellent food, great atmosphere and excellent music. We didn’t make it out to eat until nearly 9:00 PM, which turned out to be a great thing because we got to enjoy the music of the T. Michael Branner Conceptet.
Saturday morning was back to Christmas fun with the Jingle Bell Run to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. I think this may be the first year it was held in the World’s Fair Park and a crowd of several hundred gathered to run, walk or just dress funny and have a good time while raising money for a good cause.
The photographs here include some of the teams raising money as well as freelancers and families. Some ran in honor of a particular person, others simply for the cause and others just seemed out to have fun while dressing Christmas-Crazy. As always, the children stole the show for cuteness.
Urban Woman had a hair appointment at Lox in the Old City, so I walked with her to check out the glass on display at the Pretentious Glass Company. We missed their First Friday event due to the Christmas Parade, so we wanted to see the fine art glass and I wanted Urban Woman to check out the glasses. The glasses run about $35 each and we bought one for a Christmas gift.
The fine art glass produced by the guys isn’t in our budget for this Christmas, but it really is beautiful. Some of the equipment has been moved into the building, but when the operation starts will depend on contractors and isn’t settled, but spring certainly looks like a possibility. If the business while we were there was any indication, the business will do very well.
Sunday we got an early treat at Flow, and enjoyed brunch at the house with the Urban Family. Urban Girl got a little confused when she commented on the number of eggs (a dozen) and said, “That must be why it’s called a ‘bunch.'” We have to work on that “brunch” idea.
Afterward we walked to the Tennessee Theatre and – thanks to Home Federal and the Tennessee Theatre – enjoyed a free viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Shocking confession: I’d never seen it all the way through. I’m not sure how I missed it, but we enjoyed it along with 1700 of our closest friends as the auditorium was packed by about thirty minutes before show time. I suspect the other showing was as full.
While I enjoyed the movie, I think the free showing is important for reasons beyond allowing people to see a free Christmas film. It’s important that a wide range of our citizens, from those who buy season tickets to the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Broadway at the Tennessee or routinely attend shows there all the way to people who can afford those shows, are able to enjoy the theatre and take ownership of it.
It was Urban Girl’s first time inside and I really wanted it to make an impression on her. I think it dazzled her. The grand opulence caught her breath. She loved the organ rising out of the stage and singing along with the Christmas songs. I talked to her about its history and how it is the Tennessee State Theatre, her theatre. We told her some personal history connected to the site: her mother’s prom was held there in 2002. In the future I’ll tell her about the amazing music we’ve heard there. She’s five, so there’s time. I hope you all do the same with the younger members of your family.
So, it was another fun Christmas-centered weekend. We’ve got a bit more of that to come. Check out the upcoming events listed in the article below. Several highlights start today with the City People tour of the Mabry-Hazen house and the Nativity Pageant. The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra plays Tuesday night. A Very Jerry Christmas at Pres Pub on Thursday night sounds fun and Circle Modern Dance does their thing that night and the next few at the Laurel Theatre. Tour de Lights is Friday as well as the first of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concerts. The Holiday Market concludes next Saturday and there’s much, much more. Get out and grab your share of holiday fun.