Christmas Village, one of Nashville's oldest charitable events, celebrates 60 years

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Posted at 7:16 AM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 08:40:29-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Christmas Village returned to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds during the weekend.

This is the consumer show's 60th year, making it one of the oldest charitable events in the city. Ticket sales are given to philanthropies, including the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for hearing and speech patients. The Wilkerson family helped start Christmas Village decades ago. Many knew Bill Wilkerson's sister, Jane.

"She actually passed away on the last day of Christmas Village 2019, so she's near and dear to her hearts, and we're so grateful for all she did to lead us to an event this big and can give this much to charity," said Klaire Powers, board chair.

Christmas Village is organized and run by volunteers associated with the Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club.

Linda Hood comes from Atlanta to sell vintage clothing. This is her 36th year.

"I have people who come and say we have never been here and we'll never ever not come back," Hood said.

Artist Phil Ponder is well-known in Nashville. He's set up shop at the Christmas Village for 32 years.

"Twenty years ago I was asked to design the theme shirt for that year, which was 2001. I happened to wear it today in memory of 20 years ago and an appreciation of those 20 years," Ponder said.

For first time merchant, Taylor Beach Maloney, because of the past, she's excited about the future.

"I have come to Christmas Village for so many years, so to be here is such an amazing honor," Maloney said.

Since 1961, the event has generated roughly $13 million.