Sights & Sounds of the Season Calendar (updated Dec. 11)

Carmen Musick • Updated Nov 24, 2019 at 2:52 PM

The Sights & Sounds of the Season are in full swing. From concerts and parades to family fun and Christmas tree lighting events, there are plenty of activities to help get you - and keep you - in the holiday spirit. Here’s a list featuring many of the "Sights and Sounds" of the season. To add an event to the list, email [email protected]


πŸŽ„The 25th Annual Community Christmas Program will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 11, at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va. The preshow begins at 6:30 p.m. The program, “Merry Up,” will feature performances by Eugene Wolf, The Brother Boys, Momma Molasses, The Ladybirds, Lightnin’ Charlie, Fire in the Kitchen, The Bailey Mountain Cloggers, Dr. William Handy and Friends, Sandra Parker, Emory & Henry Grace Notes, Adam Bolt, Emory & Henry Choristers and more. The show raises funds for Christmas turkeys and hams for those in need. Tickets are $10 per person and are available by calling (276) 628-3991. Guests are encouraged to bring a toy for Toys for Tots or canned goods for Faith in Action.

πŸŽ„ Holiday De-Stressing with Mindful Meditation, a free meditation at Appalachian Dharma & Meditation Center, will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11. All are welcome. The event is free, although donations will be accepted. The center is located at 108 W. 10th Ave. in Johnson City. 

πŸŽ„ The Historic Blountville Tree Lighting Ceremony is at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 in front of the old Sullivan County Courthouse. As part of “One Special Town… Two Special Trees,” the ceremony will include a second tree lighting by the Hope for Victims Support and Advocacy Group in remembrance of victims of violence. Area residents are encouraged to participate by bringing an ornament in honor of family members lost to violence. Food vendors will offer hot chocolate a variety of other offerings. Call (423) 323-4660 for details.

πŸŽ„ Intercity Ballet Theatre will present “The Nutcracker” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 at the Toy F. Reid Eastman Employee Center Theatre. School performances at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 12-13. Tickets for the evening performances are on sale at the Centre for the Performing Arts, Holloway Studio and the Toy F. Reid Employee Center. Visit www.intercityballet.org or call (423) 246-2199.

πŸŽ„The Town of Unicoi’s Christmas Open House will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at the visitor’s center, just off exit 32 in Unicoi. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and shop for handmade gifts. Visit UnicoiTn.net/events.

πŸŽ„The International Storytelling Center’s Storytelling Live! Series presents Tim Lowry’s beloved presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13. Admission is $20. Reservations are strongly recommended; walk-in seating available if tickets remain. Refreshments follow all shows. For tickets or group reservations, call (800) 952-8392, ext. 222, or (423) 913-1276.

πŸŽ„Grammy and Dove award-winning artist David Phelps will present “It Must Be Christmas” at 7 p.m., Dec. 13, at First Baptist Church, 200 West Church Circle, in Kingsport. To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit www.ticketbud.com or www.davidphelps.com.

πŸŽ„“Candlelight Christmas” tours will begin at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 13-14 and continue every 15 minutes until 8 p.m. at Rocky Mount State Historic Site in Piney Flats. Travel back in time to Christmas Eve 1791, listen to stories, watch the dances, listen to traditional music and enjoy coffee, hot cocoa and other goodies. Visitors should dress for the weather. Reservations are strongly recommended. Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for children. Group rates are available. Call (423) 538-7396 or visit www.rockymountmuseum.com.

πŸŽ„Keep Kingsport Beautiful’s Holiday Lights Bus Tour will depart at 6 p.m., Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21, and last approximately three hours each night. Tickets are $7 and all proceeds benefit Keep Kingsport Beautiful. Lap children age 2 and under ride free. Seating is limited. Visit freshtix.com and search for Kingsport events.

πŸŽ„Surgoinsville Middle School presents “Frozen Jr.” at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in the school auditorium. Tickets are $5 each. Advanced reserved seating goes on sale Dec. 9.

πŸŽ„The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum in Jonesborough will host a holiday card making event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 14. The museum will supply materials, and visitors can stop in and make a holiday card inspired by the Victorian period. The program is free and designed for all ages. In addition, the museum will have 19th century holiday decorations on display in its restored parlor, dining and lodging rooms, beginning the first week of December. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, and from 1 to 5 p.m., Sundays. Admission is free. Call (423) 753-9580 or (423) 753-4580. Or visit www.heritageall.org.

πŸŽ„Surgoinsville’s Christmas Parade begins at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 at First United Methodist Church.

πŸŽ„ Mountain Home National Cemetery’s Wreaths Across America remembrance ceremony begins at noon Dec. 14. Visitors are asked to arrive 15 minutes early. Following the ceremony, volunteers will lay wreaths at graves of our country’s fallen soldiers and speak their names aloud.

πŸŽ„Amis Mill Colonial Christmas runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Amis Mill Historic Site in Rogersville. Tours — each lasting about an hour — begin at 1 p.m. The eatery will also be open and serving a special Christmas fare. A $10 contribution is requested for the tour with proceeds going toward proposed repairs to the historic Amis Dam. 

πŸŽ„Mount Carmel’s Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 beginning behind Hardee’s and ending at the Hammond Avenue intersection.

πŸŽ„Cookies and Cocoa with Santa is from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Chuckey Depot Museum in Jonesborough. Santa Claus will be in the red caboose to greet children. Watauga Valley Railroad Society will be handing out cookies and hot cocoa. Admission is free. Call (423) 753-1010.

πŸŽ„ Rogersville Heritage Association’s Christmas Tour of Homes is from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 14. The tour includes nine historic locations. There will also be candlelight tours of the New Providence Presbyterian Church and Cemetery and the Fudge Farm from 5 to 7 p.m. only. Tickets are $25 per person, and all proceeds help with the preservation of the historic Roger’s Tavern. Tickets are available at The Depot, Hale Springs Inn, Rogersville/Hawkins County Chamber of Commerce and LuElla’s.

πŸŽ„A Christmas banquet to raise funds for veterans suffering mental issues such as PTSD (hosted by The Proud Protector, a nonprofit serving Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee) will be held Dec. 14 at the Appalachian Fairgrounds. All veterans eat free with military ID and reservation. There will be live and silent auctions, bucket drawings, door prize drawings and a Christmas tree filled with gifts for each veteran who attends. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the banquet at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person, $40 per couple and free for kids 12 and under. Call (423) 914-0608 or email [email protected]

πŸŽ„ The 2019 Jonesborough Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m., Dec. 14. The annual lighted parade is accepting floats and entries. Visit jonesboroughtn.org or call (423) 791-3869 for details.

πŸŽ„The Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy choirs will present a “Night of Silence, a Season’s Journey” at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol, Va. Visit www.meccaacademy.org.

πŸŽ„ Johnson City Symphony Orchestra with special guests from East Tennessee Ballet Academy will present Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 14, at Milligan College’s Seeger Chapel. For ticket information, visit jcsymphony.com or call (423) 926-8742. Tickets also available at the door.


πŸŽ„ Author and historian Michael Shaffer will speak during the Bristol Historical Association’s 32nd annual Christmas luncheon on Dec. 15 at the Bristol Train Station. Shaffer will discuss the recollections of Thomas Wallace Colley who served the 1st Virginia Cavalry during the Civil War. The luncheon meeting is open to the public. Reservations are $30 per person and must be made by Dec. 8. Mail checks to: Bristol Historical Association, PO Box 204, Bristol, TN 37621.

πŸŽ„The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary will hold its  Toys from Cops public event for needy Sullivan County children on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until the toys are gone) at the old Food Country building, located at 3122 Highway 126 in Blountville. Proof of Sullivan County residency is required. Children must be present to receive gifts. To learn more, call (423) 279-7500, ext. 380.

πŸŽ„Johnson City Symphony Orchestra with special guests from East Tennessee Ballet Academy will present Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at Milligan College’s Seeger Chapel. For ticket information, visit jcsymphony.com or call (423) 926-8742. Tickets also available at the door.

πŸŽ„ The Church Circle Living Nativity will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15 on Church Circle in Kingsport. Drive through or use the walking path for the living nativity scene.

πŸŽ„An evening tour of Allandale Mansion will be available from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 15. Admission is $5. Julia Brown, a senior at Dobyns-Bennett, will provide entertainment on the baby grand piano. Refreshments will be served. To learn more call (423) 229-9422.

πŸŽ„Cantemus Women’s Choir presents “Gloria!” at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol, Va. The choir will be joined by an orchestra and accompanist Bryan Underwood.

πŸŽ„The Kingsport Public Library will host a Polar Express Party from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the auditorium. Come in your pajamas and listen to the book that began it all. Then stick around to watch the movie. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be served. This is a free family event with no registration required. Visit www.kingsportlibrary.org or call (423) 224-2539.

πŸŽ„Jeremiah School’s Christmas Showcase featuring an evening of music, dancing and acting featuring Jeremiah School students and community acts begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 225 Princeton Road, Johnson City. Tickets are $10. Refreshments will be provided, and there will be Christmas ornaments for sale. To purchase tickets or for more information call (423) 915-9257. Tickets will also be available at the door.

πŸŽ„Highlands Youth Ensemble presents “Lessons and Carols” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Munsey United Methodist Church in Johnson City. Visit www.meccaacademy.org.

πŸŽ„ Breakfast with Santa at the Chuckey Depot Museum offers seatings at 8, 9 and 10 a.m. Dec. 21. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas for the “Polar Express” themed event featuring breakfast from Chick-Fil-A, fruit and chocolate milk. Tickets are $15, which includes a commemorative ornament. Call (423) 753-1010 or visit jbochristmas.com/breakfastwithsanta.

πŸŽ„ Mount Carmel’s Santa Run returns to Mount Carmel beginning at 8 a.m. Dec. 21. The fire truck tours every street inside the city limits with candy and treats.

πŸŽ„ Winds of the Mountain Empire’s Christmas Holiday Concert is at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at Union High School in Big Stone Gap. Admission is free. To learn more find Winds of the Mountain Empire on Facebook.

πŸŽ„ First United Methodist Church in Surgoinsville will host a Longest Night Service, a special Christmas service of comfort for those of us who are grieving or struggling this time of year, from 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 21 at First United Methodist Church, 621 Old Stage Road, Surgoinsville. Everyone is invited.


πŸŽ„ Tuba Christmas 2019 stops in Kingsport at 7 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Renaissance Center Theatre. Chairs and stands provided. Participant registration is $10. Rehearsal is at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 23. The conductor is Hunter Mullins with guest conductor Dr. Preston Light. Visit www.tubachristmas.com for details.

πŸŽ„ St. Paul’s Christmas Dinner will be served from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 25 in the church parish hall, located on the corner of Watauga Street and Ravine Road. Turkey, dressing and all the trimmings provided by Ballad Health/Holston Valley Medical Center with baked desserts made by St. Paul parishioners. There is no charge to attend and all are welcome.

πŸŽ„Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 700 Cumberland St. in Bristol, will serve a traditional Christmas dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 25. The meal is free and no reservations are required. Everyone is welcome. To learn more, call (276) 669-9488.


πŸŽ„ A New Year’s Eve Dance Party featuring The PF Flyers will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 31 at The Outdoorsman, 4535 Highway 11W, Blountville. Champagne toast at 10 p.m. (It’s midnight somewhere and you still have time to get home to see the ball drop). The cost is $10 per person (BYOB and bring your friends). Celebrate, dance, sing and meet our newest member, Graham Clark. Call (423) 341-3545.


πŸŽ„ Natural Tunnel State Park will host Christmas Lighting of the Tunnel every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 21 from 6 until 10 p.m. As you ride down on the chairlift and make your way to the tunnel, you will be surrounded by thousands of Christmas lights and see animated Christmas displays. There will be hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows, Christmas carols, and Santa. Fees are $5 for parking and $4 per person for a round trip and $3 one-way ticket on the lift. The week of Dec. 16-21 will feature a different theme each evening: Dec. 16, Pet Night; Dec. 17, Decorate a Cookie Night; Dec. 18, Christmas Karaoke; Dec. 19, Children’s Crafts; Dec. 20, Ugly Sweater Night; Dec. 21, Santa with special guest Ranger Parker Red Fox. Call (276) 940-1643.

πŸŽ„Christmas in Olde Jonesborough will feature a different theme every Saturday through Dec. 21. Each Saturday will offer a variety of events from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. along with music and storytelling. Santa will be on site in his sleigh beside the courthouse each Saturday for pictures and visits with children. A Christmas Market will feature handmade crafts, jewelry and holiday items. Themes are “Fun with Frosty & Friends” on Dec. 14, and the “Christmas Church Tour” on Dec. 21. Call (423) 753-1010 or visit www.jbochristmas.com.

πŸŽ„ Johnson City Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-7, Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8, Dec. 14 and Dec. 22. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 students and seniors. Visit www.jccommunitytheatre.org.

πŸŽ„ Theatre Bristol presents “Miracle on 34th Street” at 7:30 p.m., Fridays; 5:30 p.m., Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m., Sundays, Dec. 6-22, at Theatre Bristol’s ARTspace, 506 State Street, in Bristol. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and students. Reservations are encouraged, but available tickets will be sold at the door. Visit www.TheatreBristol.org or call (423) 212-3625.

πŸŽ„Pinnacle Speedway in Lights featuring a 4-mile trek through 2 million lights at Bristol Motor Speedway continues from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly through Jan. 4, 2020. Use the dragway entrance of Tennessee Highway 394 to access the event. Tickets on Sunday through Thursday are $15 per car, $30 per van or $100 per bus. Tickets on Friday and Saturday are $20 per car, $30 per van and $100 per bus.

πŸŽ„ Christmas at Biltmore runs through Jan. 5, 2020, at the historic Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. Featuring 62 hand-decorated Christmas trees with 13,000 ornaments, each room features the results of holiday designs months in the planning. For information on tickets, reservations and overnight accommodations visit www.biltmore.com.

πŸŽ„ Barter Theatre presents “White Christmas,” “The Santaland Diaries” and “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” this holiday season. To reserve your seats for any Barter production, visit www.bartertheatre.com or call (276) 628-3991.

πŸŽ„The Barter Players present “Twas the Night Before Christmas” this holiday season. To reserve your seats for any Barter production, visit www.bartertheatre.com or call (276) 628-3991.  

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