Franklin Experience ‘lights up the night’

Published 10:30 am Monday, December 7, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Lighted Christmas tree synced to music on Main Street


The Franklin Experience, a nonprofit with the goal of attracting visitors to the city of Franklin, has embraced a nationwide trend in Christmas decorating: lights synchronized to music.

Members of the organization have erected a 25-foot Christmas tree composed entirely of lights outside the farmers market pavilion on Main Street, which will shine for six free 20-minute “Light Up the Night” shows every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24. From Dec. 21-24, the shows will run every day.

Shows begin at 6 p.m. and start every half hour, with the last at 8:30.

The music will stream on FM 96.3 for those who wish to watch and listen from their cars, and will be broadcast over speakers on-site. The tree is programmed with 17 songs, four to five of which will play during each show.

“We’ll rotate those each night,” said Franklin Experience President Liz Burgess.

The light show had initially been planned as a component of the city’s annual Christmas parade down Main Street, which was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting gatherings to no more than 25 people. Instead, the tree’s debut show occurred the evening of the city’s drive-through visit with Santa Claus at Franklin’s on Dec. 4, also at Franklin’s farmers market pavilion, with a mailbox for children to drop off their letters.

Burgess, a transplant to the city, founded The Franklin Experience after retiring from her teaching career in hopes of sharing her love of the area with others.

“Franklin’s been a great community in which to live,” Burgess said.

As for the group’s future plans, “We have lots of ideas,” she said. The organization had planned a lumberjack festival for May this year, hoping to bring lumberjacks from out of state, but that too got canceled due to COVID-19.

“We’re going to try to do that next year,” she said.