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The Cove decks its trails for the holidays
Annual outdoor holiday event wraps tonight

The Cove in Concord Park is all aglow this holiday season thanks to the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department.

Originally a seasonal attraction at Concord Park, “Holiday Lights at the Cove in Concord Park” was moved to The Cove four years ago. The event this season began Friday, Dec. 10, and concludes this evening [Thursday] at 9:30 p.m.

The Holiday Lights display is provided as a service to the community. A donation of either a canned food item or a $1 to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank is requested as a suggested admission price.

The focus of the event is the huge display of holiday lights. Guests may also roast marshmallows, snack on kettle corn and enjoy wagon rides through the display of lights.

Kevin and Robin Province of New Orleans, La., were vacationing in Pigeon Forge when they heard about the lights at The Cove.

“We decided to bring our 4-year-old granddaughter Olivia to see the lights and we have thoroughly enjoyed it,” Robin said. “I especially like the surroundings with the lake and the beautiful houses along the shore.”

Tom and Kathy Gilliand provide the horse and buggy rides. The Gilliands travel from Blaine with their five wagons and a team of horses (two per wagon).

Jeff Mayberry, spokesperson for the Parks and Recreation Department, said the horse-drawn wagons carry more than 10 people. “On busy nights, after school gets out, the Gilliands are running all five of the buggies around the path,” Mayberry said.

The light display is a popular event for grandparents and grandchildren as Charles and Carleen Stephens, who live off Northshore Drive, attested. The Stephens brought their two grandsons, Christopher and Harrison. “This is probably our fourth year coming to The Cove, but it is the first year for Harrison because he was too young last year,” Charles said.

Joshua Boomershine came with his “Nana” and “PopPop” [Doug and Salle Boomershine]. “He is ready to run and see all of the lights,” Salle said. Joshua took time to pose for a picture before heading off to see the lights.

Tabitha Conner, a junior at Doris Walker Academy, works the popular marshmallow-roasting site. She said she is paid for working at The Cove but donates 30 percent of her earnings to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Jeff and Lynn Sims of Farragut brought their three children, Sierra, Cody and Skylar. Jeff said the family has been coming to The Cove to view the lights for a few years and they always enjoy the event.

The Cove is located at the west end of Concord Park on Northshore Drive across from the Farragut baseball/softball fields. Tonight (Thursday) is the last night for the Holiday Lights. Viewing begins at 6:30 p.m., and concludes at 9:30 p.m.


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