KNOXVILLE—Hundreds of people gathered on the downtown square Nov. 17 to enjoy summer-like evening breezes, and to look at front windows adorned with Christmas decorations and lights.
The Living Windows and Lighted Parade offered more than lights and decorations. The square was filled with smells of freshly fried donuts, the sounds of carolers and the tastes of barbecue pulled pork sandwiches.
Red Rock Grill and Still handed out free pulled pork sandwiches. The lines were long and did not slow down until the lighted parade was over.
“We made enough to serve 400. We have served close to 200 already,” said Kara Hayes, manager of the Red Rock Grill and Still at 6 p.m. There were still two more hours to go.
Dinky Donuts was on the square frying up bite-size morsels. The lines were long, and children were gobbling up donuts quicker than they could be fried.
“We've been swamped all night,” said owner Dustin DeMoss.
To wash down the sandwiches and donuts, hot chocolate and ciders were handed out in front of the theater. For adults, Michael Van Natta poured tastings of some of his wines from Nearwood Winery.
“We've been staying busy giving samples out,” Van Natta said.
Besides all the great snacks and beverages, there was plenty more things to do and see. Stores stayed open late and some people showed their love for Christmas by wearing red and green.
Michaela Bigaouette dressed as an elf for the event and brought her golden retriever, Otis, who was wearing a Santa suit. Bigaouette walked the square making many stops to let people pet and play with Otis.
“It's taken me about an hour to walk the square,” Bigaouette said. “[Otis] has stolen two cookies from kids.”
Most businesses participated in Lighted Windows, giving folks plenty to look at. A display at Myers is decorated with brilliant colorful lights, a dog house and a puppy.
Grade school carolers stood by the front window of the Knoxville Journal Express office and played guitars and sang Christmas songs.
During the event, carriage rides were given. To close out the evening, a lighted parade of floats and horses draped in lights paraded around the square.