This gingerbread building, Main Street Bakery, was made by students at Farragut High School. It is one of scores of amazing gingerbread buildings on display at Fantasy of Trees this year.
We interrupt this report on the Museum of Art trip to New Orleans to bring you — Christmas!
Fantasy of Trees, the huge display of Christmas trees and all other things related to the holiday, continues through 6 p.m. today (Sunday). If you are not in the Christmas spirit, a brief stroll through this event at the Knoxville Convention Center will do the trick. This year’s theme is “Christmas on Main Street.” Proceeds benefit East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Click here for ticket info.
Also at the Convention Center, stop by to see the five Christmas-themed sculptures constructed entirely of cans of food! Called “Canstruction,” when this display closes on Dec. 3, all the food will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Admission is free to the “Canstruction” exhibit, which is sponsored by Messer Construction. To vote on the People’s Choice Award, go to Knoxville Canstruction’s Facebook page. Go to the photos of the structures in the album labeled “People’s Choice Award Voting” and “like” your favorite sculpture. (We at Moxley Carmichael helped build “Olaf” from the new movie, “Frozen.” So we are partial to him!)
Well, enough talk. Let’s take a look at Fantasy of Trees and Canstruction, shall we?
From left, Seth Linkous of Children’s Hospital, Whitney Kent and Michele Silva of WVLT-TV, Channel 8, and Jay Cadegan. Don’t they look festive?
When it comes to Christmas decorations, I am partial to nutcrackers and reindeer. There are plenty of both at Fantasy of Trees!
As usual, there has been an awesome turnout. These photos were taken at the preview party on Tuesday night.
The Convention Center was ready for it. This mountain of shrimp was just one of the food offerings on Tuesday!
Children’s Hospital CEO Keith Goodwin and his wife, Diane
Tony Spezia, left, the CEO of Covenant Health, with Betty and Baxter Caldwell
The vendors are just great this year. Here is artist Marcin Chamala who came here from Poland to paint ornaments in the Joy to the World booth.
Another cute gingerbread creation
This blue house was created by the Emerald Avenue Just Lead Elementary students.
Federal Judge Tom Varlan was there with his daughter, Susanna.
Mary Bogert, left, the general manager of the Knoxville Convention Center, with her friend Anita Lane of the downtown Hampton Inn.
From left, Kimberly Pettigrew, Gay Lyons, Gary and Julia Bentley
One of the most extravagant trees was this large one decorated by Samuel Franklin Floral and Home Decor in Clinton.
One of the cute ornaments
This Cat in the Hat tree was decorated by students at Brickey McCloud Elementary School.
It’s not hard to guess that this tree was decorated by the American Youth Soccer Organization.
This tree, decorated by Mrs. Amber’s third grade class at Washburn Elementary, kept with the Main Street theme.
As I said, I love reindeer!
Poor Alan had to pose with one!
Cute baby sighting! This is Caroline Cox.
Here are her parents, Steven and Melissa Cox.
And her grandparents, Tami and Bruce Hartmann, flanking Tami’s godmother, June Spargo.
Larry and Jane Martin
Diana Morgan, left, and Mickey Mallonee
Alan and Rebecca Williams. He had to leave the festivities to go back to WVLT and anchor the 11 o’clock news. She’s with the Convention Center, so she stuck around.
Marsha Hollingsworth and Grant Laing
Loved her earrings!
Lively music was by the Vibraslaps. This is keyboardist Jim Rivers.
The Hollywood tree was clever! It was decorated by the Scott L. Schwartz Children’s Foundation.
All kinds of entertainment icons were represented.
I really liked this tree decorated by Farmers Insurance Charlotte Chance Agency.
Who can resist a cuddly-looking owl?
The one thing Alan can’t resist? Dessert! In this case, blueberry cheesecake.
OK. Let’s look at those Canstruction sculptures.
The folks at Massey Electric built an elaborate sleigh.
Messer Construction, the project’s sponsor, weighed in with a huge Santa.
Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon made a Christmas mantel with Santa’s feet coming down. And I love that toy train!
These giant nutcrackers were the entry of the UT College of Engineering. They even had music and moveable parts! Wow.
Finally, my favorite! A team made up of Moxley Carmichael, Partners Development and Johnson Architecture teamed up to build “Olaf.”
We covered our cans with white paper to make the snowman from the movie “Frozen.” Vote for your favorite on the Knoxville Canstruction Facebook page. (I hope you pick Olaf!)