Spending the Holidays in Franklin

FrankTown Festival of Lights (November 25 – December 26): Happening nightly, the longest drive-through holiday light spectacular in Franklin, the FrankTown Festival of Lights will feature over 200 displays synchronized to Christmas classics that guests can listen to on the radio as they enjoy the mile-long route. Guests can also take photos in front of a 30-foot Christmas tree decorated with more than 3,000 lights. Additionally, they can indulge in winter concessions favorites like funnel cakes, caramel apples, and hot chocolate, plus on Wednesdays, the holiday path will be open to walkers who prefer to stroll through the light display.

Shop Small Saturday (November 27): Holiday shopping officially kicks off, November 27 for Shop Small Saturday. The local shops lining Franklin’s iconic Main Street, plus those at The Factory at Franklin, will showcase their holiday storefronts and offer specials. In partnership with Franklin Transit Authority, there will also be a free Hop & Shop Trolley that runs throughout downtown and to The Factory at Franklin.

Franklin Christmas Tree Lighting (Dec 3): Franklin’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the Square, December 3, will be headlined by five-time Grammy nominee and Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner Matthew West, along with appearances by recording artist Layla Tucker, and others. The lighting of the tree will also illuminate the historic stretch of Franklin’s Main Street. The family-friendly, and pet-friendly, evening will also include photo opportunities with Santa, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and a pet photo opportunity courtesy of Franklin-based Mar’s Petcare. Coinciding with the Franklin Christmas Tree Lighting will be the monthly Art Scene, so following the tree lighting, guests can explore local shops and art galleries throughout downtown Franklin.

Dec. 4 – Franklin Christmas Parade (December 4): Following the annual tree lighting the night before, the Franklin Christmas Parade will make its way down the historic Main Street at 2 Saturday. It will feature a flyover from nearby Fort Campbell and 10 local bands from area schools, and over 100 entries.

Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade (December 11): The village of Leiper’s Fork, in Franklin, Tennessee, is home to the “Almost World Famous” Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade, where you never know what you’ll see included. Happening December 11, there will, of course, be the traditional bands, but you can also expect to see antique tractors, unique parade floats, and usually a few surprises too. The grand marshal of the parade this year’s parade will be country music superstar Chris Janson. In 2019 the Buy Me A Boat singer gifted fishing equipment to kids along the parade route, and this year he will again team up with Bass Pro Shops and the Franklin High School fishing team, which he sponsors, to pass our rods and reels along the parade route.

Studio Tenn Holiday Performances (December 9-24) Studio Tenn, the Franklin-based professional regional theatre company led by artistic director Patrick Cassidy, returns to the stage with multiple holiday performances in December. Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” live radio performance will be performed by five voice actors playing an entire cast of characters. Showtimes throughout the month vary by date and can be viewed on their website at StudioTenn.com. Studio Tenn will also host a performance of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” Saturday, December 11, solely performed by actor Mark Cabus. He will take on the role of 18 characters throughout the show. The one-person show will coincide with the annual Dicken’s of a Christmas festival in downtown Franklin the same day and take place on the stage of the famed Franklin Theatre.

Dec. 11-12/Dickens of a Christmas: Middle Tennessee’s largest outdoor Christmas festival, Dicken’s of a Christmas, returns for its 36th year, December 11-12. The festival will recreate the time of Charles Dickens using historic downtown Franklin’s charming architecture as the backdrop. A variety of musicians, dancers, and Dickens characters will fill the streets and interact with guests. The family-friendly event will also feature a “Window Wonderland” as local shops create magical holiday displays in their storefronts. There will also be a Cider & Cocoa Stroll where guests can stroll from shop to shop along Main Street, through the Victorian Village, and the entire festival area with a hot cider or cocoa in hand.

as Classics at Franklin Theatre (December): The 1930’s era Franklin Theatre, located on historic Main Street in downtown Franklin will tap into its classic roots as a movie house throughout the holiday season by showing a collection of holiday classics. From staples like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas to modern-day favorites such as A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, and more, there is a chance for everyone to see their holiday favorite on the big screen.