If two is better than one, then, three must qualify as an extravaganza.
That’s what the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce is thinking.
Lebanon will have many of its favorite holiday events mesh together over one weekend as its Tis the Season Weekend Extravaganza will take place on the Lebanon square from Dec. 3-5.
“There’s something for everyone on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce President Melanie Minter said.
In the past, the Christmas tree on the square was lit on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, followed by the Christmas parade on the first Sunday in December and then the Christmas on the square retail experience on the Saturday after the Christmas parade.
Now, all three of those events will take place during the weekend extravaganza.
“We’ve never gone to this extreme before,” Minter said. “We’ll kick it off with that Christmas tree lighting. The mayor (Rick Bell) will come out and light it.”
Minter came up with the concept of combining it all into a weekend event, approaching Bell with the idea in February.
“He was totally on board,” Minter said. “We talked about what the Chamber contributed and what the city contributed. They’re going to be doing a lot with the decorations and the public safety. We couldn’t do this without them doing that.
“With him being on board with having the total weekend to highlight the city, it was extremely encouraging.”
The tree lighting will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, followed by a choir performance at 5:30.
Then, at 7 p.m., country music artist Wade Hayes — who has two gold albums to his credit — will be in concert.
Saturday’s activities will include photos with Santa from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., shopping at the area retail outlets throughout the day, music by the C-Dock Boyz at 1 p.m., music by Janelle Arthur (a Nashville recording artist who was a top-five contestant on “American Idol”) at 4 p.m., Historic Lebanon’s Historic Places Tour from 5 p.m. until 8:30, and a viewing of “Home Alone” at the Capitol Theatre beginning at 8 a.m.
Both Arthur and Hayes will perform a mix of Christmas favorites and their top hits.
“This is promoting what we have to offer,” Minter said. “It’s promoting our square, our stores and the entertainment we can provide. It’s bringing the community together at a different level … and they can choose their time.
“It’s just kind of a cool weekend to prepare for the rest of the holiday season.”
On both Friday and Saturday, the agricultural learning center will be open in addition to a live nativity scene and an ice skating rink, and on Saturday, there will also be a kid zone, carriage rides and an IMAGINE THAT! Art Studio set-up.
On Sunday, the Jingle Jog Fun Run returns for the first time since 2012 and will start at 1 p.m.
“The Jingle Jog is an extra feature,” Minter said.
Life-long Lebanon resident Susie Hunt James — the WANT FM 98.9/WCOR AM 1490 radio station owner — will serve as the grand marshal of the Christmas parade at 2 p.m.
Individuals can also write letters to Santa all weekend long.
“The planning that has gone into this has taken over six months,” Minter said. “We decided to do this for tourism purposes and for people in surrounding areas to come so that we can show off what we have in Lebanon. We’re really excited about that. We are excited that it’s on three days. You can come on Friday or Saturday or spend a whole weekend. If people know it’s one weekend, they’re more than likely to spend their time. Whether they’re in the city, out of the city or in the county, they’re going to want to come and be a part of what we do in Lebanon. We hope that people invite their friends and family.
“It just gives the community a time where they can support businesses and can also have a wonderful, family, Christmas experience.”