A friend of mine loves to eat at a particular restaurant on Market Square. Every so often, I’ll get a text asking if my wife and I want to join him for dinner. On Friday, I had a sense of déjà vu when he asked if we were available for dinner and I reminded him that there would be a huge crowd downtown for the annual Christmas tree lighting in Krutch Park. This was at least the third time we’ve met him for dinner on the day after Thanksgiving.
My wife and I decided to arrive downtown ninety minutes before dinner. At 5:30 p.m., we watched Mayor Rogero and some other local politicians acknowledge the naming of Gay Street as one of 10 “Great Streets” in America by the American Planning Association.
At 6:00 p.m., Tearsa Smith and Bo Williams of WATE-TV introduced the Christmas festivities. The Regal Celebration of Lights included a singer, a trio of French horn players, actors from Theatre Knoxville Downtown, Santa and Mrs. Claus and fireworks. I caught Tearsa taking a self-portrait with her camera phone just as the dignitaries pushed the button to light the tree.