NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Lipscomb University community celebrated the 17th anniversary of its traditional start to the holiday season with Nashville entertainer Amy Grant and friends at the annual Lighting of the Green concert.
The community was invited to the free concert, festivities to celebrate the start of the holiday season; one of the season’s first tree-lightings in Nashville.
Joining Grant this year was CeCe Winans, choirs from Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University and other surprise musical guests.
"Lipscomb has been around the Nashville community for 130 years. And so this is just a small way that we can give something back to the community," said Kim Chaudoin, Lipscomb University communication director, "For the last 17 years, this is just a thank you to the community. It's an occasion where we can all come together and celebrate the Christmas season and you know, getting kicked off in with Amy Grant. She's been so generous with her time for the last 17 years."
The event was virtual last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concert was free and people packed outside Allen Arena to hear and dance to their favorite Christmas songs.
"This is actually our first time seeing all the lights on the trees and getting to do all the Christmasy stuff," said Justice Orrand, a Lipscomb University student.
At Merry Marketplace, the community got to see a collection of holiday vendors who donate a portion of their proceeds to benefit Associated Women for Lipscomb scholarships to Lipscomb, which is also a traditional feature of Lighting of the Green.
Those who came out say it was worth every minute.
"We're all sophomores so we had no COVID fun where we went home after thanksgiving and didn't come back," said Orrand.
The evening concluded with the lighting of a Christmas tree in the Allen Arena Mall.
This year, Lighting of the Green benefits Second Harvest. Every dollar donated provides four meals.