The holiday season gets into full swing next weekend in the East Hamilton area. With so many tree-lightings, parades, holiday markets and other festive events, local residents will have a hard time choosing where to get their holiday cheer on first. Here are all the local options.


East Ridge

Pancakes with Santa at the Library

Dec. 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The library may not be the first place you'd expect to find Santa, but the East Ridge Library is where he'll be parking his sleigh for a hearty breakfast and photo session on Dec. 7. If there's inclement weather, the event will be cancelled so Santa can travel safely back to the North Pole. Required reservations (Santa's making a list) can be made by calling 867-7323.


East Brainerd

Tree Lighting at Heritage Park

Dec. 7, 3-6 p.m.

The mall isn't the only place in East Brainerd to see Santa. Ole St. Nick is also making a stop at Heritage Park for its fourth annual tree lighting. Bring a blanket and enjoy the display and refreshments and music by local talents.



Christmas Time at the Market

Dec 5, 12 and 19, 3-5 p.m.

To help check names off holiday shopping lists, Ooltewah Nursery and Ooltewah Farmers Market is featuring locally handmade gifts in an arts and crafts show. Guests can also pick up farm-fresh foods for the holiday table and stock up on greenery to deck the halls. Attendees are asked to bring donations for the Share the Love Food Drive going on at the same time, or to buy items at the market to donate. For more information, visit


Spirit of Christmas Ooltewah-Collegedale Christmas Celebration

Dec. 8, 3-5 p.m.

The city of Collegedale is holding its 20th annual Christmas parade. Starting at the East Hamilton Park/Ooltewah Youth Association fields, the parade route runs south down Little Debbie Parkway to Apison Pike and continues east to Ooltewah-Ringgold Road toward the endpoint at Ooltewah Middle School. Secure a spot at the new Show Stop area in front of Tractor Supply to check out parade performances. For more information, call 468-1921 or visit



Carols in the City & Community Tree Lighting

Dec. 6, 6 p.m.

This free family event begins with a community Christmas tree lighting at the Old Post Office. Afterward, the crowd can take part in reverse caroling, walking to downtown churches and other sites for choir performances before the finale at Courthouse Plaza, where Santa Mrs. Claus will visit with attendees until 8 p.m. To capture visits with the big guy, guests are invited to bring their cameras.


MainStreet Cleveland Christmas Parade

Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

This traditional holiday event's 3-mile route starts at Bradley County High School and travels through downtown Cleveland to end back at the school.


Classic Christmas Concert

Dec. 8, 3 p.m.

This 30th annual event at Lee University features holiday favorites from "Jingle Bells" to "Nutcracker Suite" performed by an array of ensembles, including the Choral Union, Handbell Choir, and the Symphony Orchestra directed by former Chattanooga Symphony and Opera maestro Robert Bernhardt. The concert is free, but tickets are required. Call 614-8240.

Email Emily Crisman at