Clarksville is about to light up its annual Christmas gift to the community: Christmas on the Cumberland. Mayor John Piper will flip the switch and start the magic in a special ceremony on Tuesday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. on the McGregor Riverfront Walk on Riverside Drive. This year’s theme is The Spirit of Christmas.
This holiday event is indeed a gift, this blazing display of lights and imagery reflected in the dark wintry waters of the Cumberland. It launches the start of the holiday season and will run through January 1.
The familiar Christmas villages, small vignettes, snowpeople, skaters, Santa’s workshop with dancing elves, and two arched lighted tunnels line the meandering walkways of the park, inviting a evening stroll and the casual camaraderie of friends and will be familiar to anyone who has visited in the past.
This year’s new additions include 23 additional lighted display pieces that feature gingerbread boys and girls playing, Santa fishing, a boy fishing, jumping fish, Santa water skiing, a sea monster, skating bears, and a custom-made display honoring the 101st Airborne Division. Over a million lights have been installed.
In our city, it’s free and open to anyone who cares to stroll the walkways in the dark of evenin, though many communities use events of this kind as fundraisers and actually charge fees for the privilege of viewing. Christmas on the Cumberland lights up Sunday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5-11 p.m. A Limited number of wheelchairs are available for those who need such assistance in accessing the displays.
Created in 1999, the year of the city’s tornado, the concept has quickly become tradition and is one of the best things the city has done, both for its citizens and for its image as a community on the grow. For more information on this event, call the Parks and recreation Department at 648-6129 or 648-6124.