Downtown Kingsport hosts parade, tree lighting

J. H. Osborne • Dec 8, 2019 at 9:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Christmas Parade drew large crowds all along its roughly 1.5-mile route Saturday evening. And many of those who gathered to watch the parade stayed afterward for the tree-lighting ceremony at Church Circle.

It’s the third year in a row Kingsport’s Christmas parade was an after-dark event. Floats and marchers, including bands and cheerleaders from local schools, were lighted in some fashion or another.

There were also dancers, politicians, community organizations, churches — and Santa.

In keeping with tradition predating the move to a nighttime parade, the Kingsport Fire Department provided the finale by giving Santa a ride along the route and to Church Circle.

Once the parade passed, the tree-lighting ceremony got underway right on schedule at 7:10 p.m. After a prayer, the crowd joined in song to perform “Silent Night.”

Mayor Pat Shull, assisted by Miss Kingsport Taylor Hubbard and Miss Sullivan County Caitlyn Ison, led the countdown to the tree-lighting and switched on the lights to the live tree in the center of Church Circle.