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Holidays arrive in Erwin & Unicoi on Saturday with Christmas parades, 'Shop Small' activities

Sue Guinn Legg • Nov 19, 2018 at 10:37 PM

The holiday season will officially get underway in Unicoi County on Saturday with a pair of Christmas parades in Unicoi and Erwin and “Shop Small Saturday” activities in both little towns.

The Erwin Christmas parade will roll at 10 a.m. from the Erwin Village Shopping Center on North Main Avenue through downtown along Love Street to Erwin Utilities.

Organized by the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, the theme of the Erwin parade is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It will feature floats and exhibits designed to help spectators envision the magic of the holiday season.

Chamber Executive Director Amanda Delp said the parade is all about keeping traditions, and is one of the Chamber’s favorite events during the year.

“The holiday season is a special time for making memories and celebrating traditions,” Delp said. “The Chamber takes pride in coordinating this event that allows the community to come together in celebration of the holidays.”

The parade will feature professionally designed floats sponsored by Erwin-area businesses, other floats entered by local businesses, civic clubs, volunteer organizations and church and school groups; the Unicoi County High School Band and Junior Air Force ROTC; a variety of antique vehicles; horses; and as the special finale, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Others wishing to enter the parade should call the Chamber at 423-743-3000 for an application. Entry is free, but all participants must complete an application form.

The parade will be followed by a variety of Shop Small Saturday events, including free gift wrapping at the Chamber office for any present purchased in Unicoi County on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Shari’s Florist and Gifts and Southern Touch Massage will also be set up at the Chamber office with chair massages and a variety of Christmas arrangements available for purchase.

“It is our hopes that everyone attending the parade will spend some extra time shopping with our local businesses in Erwin and Unicoi,” Delp said. “By offering free gift wrapping for gifts purchased in Unicoi County that day, we hope that people will take advantage of the shopping opportunities right here at home.”

The Unicoi Christmas Parade will begin at 2 p.m. at Unicoi Funeral Home on Unicoi Drive and end at Unicoi Elementary School.

The town of Unicoi will also take part in Saturday’s countywide Small Business Saturday initiative with small businesses and eateries offering a variety of sales and giveaways, including a limited number of “shop local” totes to be given away with purchases.

More information about Unicoi’s holiday events can be found at the town of Unicoi page on Facebook, by calling 423-735-0517 or emailing recreationaide@unicoitn.net.

Erwin’s 16th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting festivities will be held Friday, Nov. 30. Attractions will include a Santa's Village in Erwin Town Hall with activities including live music, marshmallow roasting, fresh cut Fraser Fir Christmas tree or wreath sales, old fashioned horse-drawn wagon rides, a kiddie train ride, a live nativity scene, community caroling and more.

Concessions and sweet treats including deep-fried Oreos and hot chocolate will be available for purchase and a free movie will be shown in the community room at Town Hall.

Lighting of the town Christmas Tree take place at 7 p.m. and will be followed by the reading of “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a visit with Santa. Free photos with Santa Claus will be available and the first 100 children will also receive a special gift from Santa.

More information about the tree-lighting festivities may be obtained by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 423-743-3000.

The Chamber will host its annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center, 220 Union St.

Along with a pancake breakfast, the morning will include holiday activities for children, Christmas music and dancing with elves, holiday crafts and a visit and photos with Santa. Ticket prices are $8, or $5 for children age 6 and under. Seating times will be available from 8-9:30 a.m. and 10-11:30 a.m.

The town of Unicoi will host its annual Christmas at the Cabin from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. The free, old-fashioned Christmas celebration takes place at the historic Bogart-Bowman Cabin at 5012 Unicoi Drive.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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