Christmas in Collierville adapting to COVID-19

By , Daily Memphian Published: September 30, 2020 4:00 AM CT

Christmas in Collierville is one of the most cherished events by the suburb’s residents. While this is the town’s sesquicentennial, it also is 2020 and that means — like many planned celebrations — even the holiday season must deal with a pandemic.

Greg Clark, director of Collierville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts, and Ashley Carver, director of tourism, offered several proposals to the board during Monday night’s meeting for the annual holiday traditions.

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Town leaders expect the Health Department to continue limiting crowd sizes, which would rule out the annual celebration held on Collierville Square and the parade.

Instead, Collierville leaders plan to broadcast “illuminating the lights” near the Thanksgiving holiday, sharing the event on social media. 

Town officials plan to have messages from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus as his appearances in the gazebo will not happen this year. However, letters to Santa will still be accepted. Last year, town staff helped respond to more than 500 letters.

A number of other events, such as the Opera Memphis Strolling Carolers, appearances by school choirs and the model train display in the Deport are expected to be canceled.

Officials still hopes to host carriage rides around the square as it is aglow with its holiday decorations. 

The annual light tour, where a map helps guide residents to the most festive houses, will be available. In 2019, 36 houses were submitted to the town. Although, Collierville will not host tours on the double decker bus as it has in years past. The town plans to expand it with lights in Tom Brooks Park and add “Avenue of Lights” behind the depot.

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New this year will be a “photo stroll” with places for picture opportunities. Stations will include Tom Brooks Park and a 26-foot, multicolor tree and the log cabin on the square decorated with garland and ribbon. Santa’s chair — without Santa — will be in the gazebo and photos can be taken at the depot with the Avenue of Lights or the mini-poinsettia trees on the platform.

While the cost of the event is about a $4,500, Clark said a grant from Shelby County for sesquicentennial events can help absorb it, limiting the burden on the town to create a special holiday experience despite the pandemic.


Collierville Christmas lights Collierville Christmas Parade COVID-19 Christmas Christmas 2020
Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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