Historic Jonesborough hosts a month-long series of holiday events and activities. Christmas in Olde Jonesborough will feature a different theme every Saturday from November 27 to December 18.

Each Saturday will offer a variety of events from 11 am to 3 pm including caroling, visits with Santa, music, storytelling and extended holiday shopping hours in Tennessee’s Oldest Town. Santa will be on site in his sleigh beside the Washington County Courthouse for pictures and visits with children. Bring letters to Santa and drop them off in the mailbox from November 27 to December 19 and receive a reply from the jolly old man himself. Free gift wrapping will be offered inside the International Storytelling Center during events on any purchases made in downtown Jonesborough. The public is also encouraged to bring a new gift for St. Nick to deliver to less fortunate children in the area.  Gifts can be dropped off with St. Nick at his sleigh.

Jonesborough's Gingerbread Village

December, 3 – 25

The Jonesborough Christmas tradition, Gingerbread Village, returns!
Pick up for participants is from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, November 27 at the International Storytelling Center for 50 houses. Individuals can participate by picking up a free gingerbread kit or making their own gingerbread house and drop off to be displayed in shops downtown. Drop off is December 1 at the International Storytelling Center from 4 pm to 7 pm.
The public will vote on their favorite entries from December 4 through December 18 online and winners will be announced on December 20.
Gingerbread houses will be displayed from December 3 through December 25.

Lighting of the Tree

November 27, 6 pm

Christmas Lighting of the Tree
Jonesborough will be officially kicking off the Christmas season by lighting the large Frasier Fir in the heart of downtown in front of the Washington County Courthouse.
Music and storytelling will lead up to the event.

Doggone Christmas

December 4, 11 am – 3 pm

Doggone Christmas
Christmas in Olde Jonesborough continues on Saturday, December 4 with Doggone Christmas from 11 am to 3 pm.
Attendees can bring their furry friends for pictures with Santa, a treat station and shop at the Christmas Market for pet friendly items! At 1 pm there will be contests including Ugliest Christmas Dog Sweater, Best Holiday Costume and Pet/Owner Lookalike.
Donations will also be accepted for the Washington County Humane Society at the back of the Santa’s sleigh.

Santa’s Christmas Village

December 11, 11am – 3pm

Join us for Santa’s Christmas Village on December 11th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout downtown. This event includes lots of family fun including pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, face painting, Santa Mart, horse drawn carriage rides and multiple children’s crafting stations throughout Tennessee’s Oldest Town. 

Christmas Parade

December 11, 6pm

Christmas Parade

Christmas is just around the corner and what better place to spend quality family time than downtown Jonesborough at the nighttime Christmas parade.  Join us on Saturday, December 11 at 6pm on Main Street and make festive memories with your family and friends.  We are now accepting applications for entries for the parade, themed around “Christmas in the South”.  With our intimate downtown setting, it provides the perfect setting for all the twinkling lights and live music on floats and vehicles.  You can register below or download a registration form HERE.  For more information, please contact Rachel Conger:  423.791.3869 or rachelc@jonesboroughtn.org.

Christmas Church Stroll

December 18, 11 am – 3 pm

Christmas Church Stroll

The Christmas in Olde Jonesborough series wraps up on December 18 with the Christmas Church Tour from 11 am to 3 pm. Stroll through Jonesborough and visit participating churches in the downtown historic district. See their beautifully decorated sanctuaries and enjoy music, hand bells and historic information. Grab a guide at the International Storytelling Center to begin the tour. Hosts will also be available at each location to tell discuss the history and architecture. Each church is located within easy walking distance of downtown and attendees can shop for last-minute gifts.

Shop Small Weekend

November 26 – 28, 10 am – 8 pm

Main Street Jonesborough is your destination for Christmas shopping. Support small businesses by shopping local November 26 through November 28 in downtown Jonesborough and enjoy extended shopping hours.
Get to downtown Jonesborough early on Small Business Saturday and visit the Shop Small welcome tent to pick up some swag and a Shop Small Bingo card. The welcome tent will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 27th. You can also pick up your Shop Small Bingo card early on Friday, November 26 at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. Return your bingo card before December 20, once you get 5 in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal and you’ll be entered to win a gift card from a downtown Jonesborough business.
Jonesborough is proud to have the streets lined with small businesses that fill their shops and boutiques with items that can be found only in Jonesborough. You’ll find handmade jewelry from local artisans, unique gifts, nostalgic antiques, repurposed furniture, and more. You’re invited to join the shop local movement and discover Jonesborough’s downtown shopping district during Shop Small Weekend November 26 through the 28.

Whoville Christmas

November 27, 11am – 3pm

The Christmas in Olde Jonesborough series will kick off with Whoville on Saturday, November 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. complete with the Grinch and other characters. Dress as a Whoville character and get a “grinch treat”.

That Saturday, catch a Christmas movie inside the Lollipop Shop, located at 129 East Main Street in downtown Jonesborough. The movie will show continuously from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Enjoy a reading of the holiday classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum for several readings of the holiday classic. This program will feature a reading of the “Grinch” in their restored parlor room as well as a display of holiday items from their archival collection. The Chester Inn Museum will also talk about the history of Victorian holiday celebration customs and the practice of storytelling during the holidays.

This year there will be readings at 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Each program will be approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

In an effort to provide a safe social distance for program attendees, the Chester Inn Museum will limit the attendance at each performance to the first 20 people. Attendees can pick up their tickets at the Chester Inn Museum on Saturday, November 27. Tickets for the first program will be available starting at 11 a.m., and tickets will be available for each subsequent program once the preceding program is finished. Keep up with the event by following the Chester Inn Museum on Facebook. For questions, please call 423.753.4580, email chesterinn@heritageall.org.

Other Christmas Events

Downtown at Dusk

December 3, 10, 17, 5:30 – 8:30pm

Downtown at Dusk Christmas Event
Downtown at Dusk is back for Fridays in December! Join us in Downtown Jonesborough on Friday evenings in December from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and sample drinks and tastings while checking off your Christmas shopping list. Also enjoy the sights and sounds of the season as downtown will be full of lights strung about the trees and buildings. Each week there will be a different theme and businesses will serve refreshments and decorate along with that theme.
Dec. 3- Downtown at Dusk: Christmas Movie Edition
Dec. 10- Downtown at Dusk: Christmas Song Edition and Ugly Sweater Contest

Dec. 17- Downtown at Dusk: Christmas Around the World Edition

Gather some friends and reserve your tickets now. This event is sponsored by Jonesborough Area Merchants and Services Association.

Annual Celebration of Trees

December 6 – 26

Celebration of trees

Twinkling lights, the scent of Fraser firs, handcrafted ornaments and lovely Christmas decorations are filling the shops and store fronts of downtown Jonesborough. The annual Celebration of Trees, a unique exhibit of beautifully decorated Christmas trees, will be held in Historic Jonesborough on December 6 through December 26.

This year’s exhibit begins at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, located at 117 Boone Street, where seven beautifully decorated live trees will be on display within the Old Town Emporium Gift Shop. These trees are all sponsored and decorated by area businesses and non-profit organizations. Participants can pick up a program which features a listing of locations throughout the historic district where they can view over 30 decorated trees.

The celebration of trees has been a Jonesborough tradition for over 30 years. Growing over the years, it is now become an event that stretches from the Jonesborough Visitors Center to the Jonesborough Senior Center to the Chuckey Depot Museum on 2ndAve. The exhibit features many spots in between as well including the International Storytelling Center, Noelle, Gabriel’s Christmas, Mill Spring Park Gazebo, McKinney Center and many others.

The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday, December 6 through Sunday, December 26. Exhibit programs are located at the Jonesborough Visitors Center and the International Storytelling Center. This year the program will double as a ballot where attendees can vote for the “People’s Choice Award” for the best decorated tree in town. All locations are open to public viewing during their normal operating hours.

For additional information on the Celebration of Trees, contact the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423.753.1010.

Holidays Around the World Fundraiser

November 29, 5:30 pm – 8 pm

McKinney Christmas Event
The McKinney Center will present their annual fundraiser in a different way this year. In the spirit of safety, the “Soup and Songs” event has been transformed into Holidays Around the World Fundraiser.
It will features 12 holiday displays, live music, a complete soup to-go-meal from Main Street Café & Catering, and a handmade ceramic ornament delivered by Santa and the Grinch. Supports McKinney Center Scholarships & StoryTown programs.
Pick your time and soup! Tickets for this event will be divided into time-slots. Guests are asked to arrive no earlier than their chosen time designation. Tickets to this annual fundraiser are $30.
They may be purchased online below or by calling the Visitors Center at 423.753.1010.
Thank you to our partners Umoja of Johnson City, ETSU’s Language and Cultural Resource Center & Daughters of the American Revolution.

Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Presents Holiday Inn

December 2-19

Christmas Play

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn tells the story of Jim, who leaves the bright lights of show business behind to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut… but life just isn’t the same without a bit of song and dance. Jim’s luck takes a spectacular turn when he meets Linda, a spirited schoolteacher with talent to spare. Together they turn the farmhouse into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. But when Jim’s best friend Ted tries to lure Linda away to be his new dance partner in Hollywood, will Jim be able to salvage his latest chance at love?

Progressive Dinner

December 4, 4-10pm

Christmas Progressive Dinner

The Heritage Alliance will host the 43rd Colors of Christmas Progressive Dinner on Saturday, December 4 at 4 pm, 6 pm and 7:40 pm. Now in its 43rd year, the Progressive Dinner is a unique event that combines fine food, rich history and great entertainment. The event takes place at four different locations and guests will move to each location as the evening progresses.

The event will start at the Chuckey Depot Museum, a restored train depot and Jonesborough’s newest museum. The event will continue at a pre-Civil War frame house on Woodrow Avenue that was once a school. The next stop will be dinner at the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School, and dessert will take place in a beautifully restored home on East Main Street that has never been featured on the dinner before.

Ticket price is $100 per person and proceeds go toward the educational programs of the Heritage Alliance. Seating is limited, and this event typically sells out. Reservations can also be made by calling 423.753.1010. If the reservation is for a table of six or more, contact the Heritage Alliance directly at 423.753.9580.

The Colors of Christmas Progressive Dinner is a traditional start to the holiday season for many people throughout East Tennessee and surrounding states. Seasonal music by several of the area’s finest musicians, including the Jonesborough Novelty Band. Proceeds from the Progressive Dinner help ensure educational programs of the Heritage Alliance remain accessible to a wide range of audiences, and will benefit preservation and maintenance projects at the Oak Hill Schoolhouse.

The Heritage Alliance will continue to monitor CDC guidelines in regards to Covid-19 and events. If the event needs to cancel for health reasons, it will two weeks in advance.

This Event is Sold Out! Thank you for the support!