Cookeville’s annual tree lighting holiday celebration returns to Dogwood Park Sunday night with the lighting of the brand-new 40-foot tree.
Cookeville Mayor Laurin Wheaton said the tradition embodies everything that Cookeville is about. Wheaton said the celebration will include performances from school choirs, the TTU Trombone Choir, and Cookeville-based recording artist Jake Hoot.
“Just taking a moment to pause and come together, be around a beautiful Christmas tree in our beautiful Dogwood Park, which I think is one of the gems of Cookeville that we’ll have decorated for Christmas, and just taking a m0ment to just pause and reflect on what the season’s really about, and take a moment to be grateful for what we have,” Wheaton said.
Wheaton said the city is also collecting non-perishable foods to support the Putnam Education Partnership Foundation which stocks pantries for local schools. Wheaton said having traditions that people can count on and look forward to brings comfort to a community.
“When you come out to celebrate Christmas in Cookeville, you’re also coming together to support our community, and especially something that’s near and dear to my heart is to help our children out in our community,” Wheaton said.
Wheaton said she remembers traditions from her childhood and relished the opportunity to start new ones with her children.
“For a lot of people I know, it’s one that they’ve done years over,” Wheaton said. “I just think it’s important to have those memories and to have that moment where you’re coming together and enjoying family, enjoying friends, and enjoying the great city of Cookeville.”
Wheaton said the tradition began as a tree-lighting at the Cookeville History Museum.