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Chamber announces upcoming holiday events

The Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce will kick off the holiday season with two of its most popular events – the annual tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas parade – later this month.
“We are very excited to host these events for our community once again,” Amanda Delp, the Chamber’s executive director told The Erwin Record last week.
The town of Erwin Tree-Lighting Ceremony will be held on Friday, Nov. 16. Delp said the Chamber is coordinating with the Downtown Merchants Association for the 2012 staging of the event.
“We want to use the tree-lighting ceremony to encourage locals and visitors to shop in our local businesses,” Delp said. “We have asked the downtown merchants to keep their stores open and to participate in the celebration with us.”
Delp said the Chamber has also asked the merchants to offers special sales or discounts to customers on Nov. 16. Information about these offers will be available at the Chamber office the day of the event.
The Chamber is also planning to organize a door prize drawing, which will be awarded during the tree-lighting ceremony, according to Delp. Contestants must be present at the ceremony in order to win.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, carolers will spread holiday cheer to shoppers through song. Caroling will continue until 7 p.m.
Delp said the Chamber is asking local churches to provide carolers for the event. Any churches interested in participating should contact the Chamber as soon as possible.
Event attendees should make their way to Erwin Town Hall by 7 p.m. when the tree-lighting ceremony, which includes a program and music, will begin.
A tradition at the tree-lighting ceremony – the reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” – will begin around 7:15 p.m. inside Erwin Town Hall. The Erwin Record will take free photos of the children in attendance with Santa.
Another popular Unicoi County holiday tradition – the annual Christmas parade – will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 10:30 a.m. The parade will begin at Erwin Village Shopping Center, travel down Main Avenue into downtown and end at Erwin Utilities on Love Street.
“This year’s parade, themed ‘Christmas Melodies,’ will feature floats and exhibits that will help parade attendees envision the magic of the holiday season,” Delp said. “Cline Floats will be supplying professionally-designed floats again this year for local businesses to sponsor.”
Delp also said that churches, civic organizations and individuals are encouraged to enter homemade floats in the parade. Groups wishing to participate in the parade should contact the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce at 743-3000 to obtain an application. All participants must complete an application form in order to participate in this year’s parade.
Applications must be received by the Chamber office by Nov. 19.
All participants operating motorized vehicles in the parade must provide a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance at the time of registration.

By Keeli Parkey
Staff Writer
[email protected]