Cookeville Leisure Services offers holiday events and activities

COOKEVILLE – Locals can celebrate the season with numerous holiday events and activities offered by Cookeville Leisure Services.

“It’s a very exciting time of year, and we are happy to provide several fun and festive activities and events to enhance the spirit of the season,” Rick Woods, Cookeville Leisure Services director, said.

The following are planned:

Holiday Concert

Nov. 28 – Cookeville Community Band, under the direction of Carroll Gotcher, will quickly get audience members into the spirit of the season as they present favorite Christmas tunes during their annual holiday concert at 3 p.m. at Cookeville Performing Arts Center, 10 E. Broad St. Admission is free.

Christmas Forest

Dec. 1 – Cookeville History Museum’s sixth annual Christmas Forest exhibit opening will take place 4-6 p.m. at 40 E. Broad St. Door prizes and candy canes for children will be given away. Browse through a festive display of Christmas trees decorated by 18 non-profit organizations and civic clubs. The exhibit may be viewed Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., through Jan. 4. Admission is free.

Dogwood Park Tree-Lighting

Dec. 1 – Dogwood Park’s seventh annual Christmas Tree-Lighting and Celebration Service, presented by Better Cookeville, is set for 6 p.m. Gather with Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton, Santa and the community as the nearly 40-foot-tall tree is lit. Plus, enjoy a Christmas concert featuring the a cappella group Voices of Lee and hometown favorite country artist Jake Hoot. A 15-minute Christmas tree lightshow synchronized to holiday music will follow.

Christmas Tree Lightshow

Dec. 1-Jan. 2 – Dogwood Park’s nearly 40-foot-tall Christmas tree will feature a nightly 15-minute lightshow synchronized to holiday music every hour on the hour 5-9 p.m.

Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge

Registration continues through Nov. 23 at 4:30 p.m. HERE or by calling 931-520-4386. Judging will take place Dec. 2-5. Categories are Classic Christmas (traditional display), Merry and Bright (lightshows, animatronics, other technology), Holly Jolly (Santa, candy canes, things that make Christmas jolly, fun and cute) and Griswold Award (lights galore). The best contest newcomer will be recognized as well. Cash prizes up to $100 will be awarded. All participants will be included in a Christmas Tour of Lights map. Fee is $10 per entry. This fifth annual exterior home decorating contest, presented by Leisure Services and Upper Cumberland Association of Realtors, is open to Putnam County single-family residences within an approximate 10-mile radius of the Cookeville Courthouse Square. 

Tour of Lights

Dec. 2-25 – Take a night drive to see Cookeville’s best decorated holiday homes. A free map that includes the addresses of participants in the fifth annual Merry and Bright Holiday Home Challenge will be available in December at Cookeville City Hall. It may also be viewed at The map will include a Christmas scavenger hunt that can be completed along with the Tour of Lights. 

Depot Christmas

Dec. 4 – Cookeville Depot Museum’s annual Depot Christmas Open House is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This year’s theme is “Elfin’ Around at the Depot.” Highlights include games, model trains, treats, caroling with Cookeville’s Barbershop Harmony Society, a mailbox for wish-list letters, and visits with Santa. (He takes a cookie break from noon-1 p.m.) Participation is free.

Santa House

Dec. 10, 12, 17-20 – Children are invited to enjoy a free visit with Santa and his elves in the little red Santa House at Dogwood Park behind the Cookeville History Museum, 40 E. Broad St. The jolly fellow will be there Dec. 10, 17, 18 and 20 from 5-8 p.m. and Dec. 12 and 19, 3-6 p.m. Bring a camera to capture the smiles.

For more information about holiday events, call Cookeville Leisure Services at 931-520-4386.

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