FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Every year thousands gather in Franklin's town square for the city's annual tree lighting. But because of COVID-19, city leaders decided to do something different this year.
“I think it’s nice to offer it for some of the people who are concerned,” said Franklin resident Kelley Halbert.
That's because, like most things in 2020, the tree lighting was virtual.
City Administrator Eric Stuckey said it was important to keep the tradition alive. “About a week ago we shut down late at night the downtown streets, the main street, and the square so that we could do some filming,” he said.
The virtual program showcased a short film set among downtown Franklin staples. The video follows the story of vocal group The Shindellas as they try to rekindle the holiday spirit. The virtual event features musical performances and, of course, a very important celebrity- Santa himself. It all lead up to a countdown for the magical moment when the tree was lit.
Stuckey said, "It is a way that the community always comes together. We may not be able to do it the way we usually do, but we wanted to still find a way.”
Floridian Jessica Kendrick stopped by the tree while visiting in Tennessee. “I think with this tree lighting and families being together on Thanksgiving it’s really just bringing things back into perspective and bringing us back together."
If you happened to miss the virtual event it’s not too late enjoy the celebration. You can watch the full event here.