The weather was frightful, but everything was delightful at the 2011 Lighting of the Green
By Janel Shoun on 11/30/2011
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A cold rain on Nov. 29 didn’t keep away the crowds from the seventh annual Lighting of the Green festival. Around 5,000 people attended the annual concert featuring host Amy Grant and special guest Melinda Doolittle, a former finalist on American Idol.
More than 70,000 lights blazed in the Allen Arena Mall, while attendees watched the concert and dined on free cookies and hot chocolate inside the arena. Additional performers included Gene Miller, Sterling Gittens, Jenny Gill and Point of Grace. Doolittle, a Belmont University grad, sang two songs off her upcoming Christmas album.
During the show, Grant invited children up on stage with her to sing “Up on the Housetop” and “Jingle Bells.” She also performed her signature hit “Tender Tennessee Christmas” and rounded out the show after the tree-lighting with a rousing version of “Emmanuel.”
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean arrived to light the 35-foot Christmas tree in front of the arena, and country music icon Vince Gill was spotted in the audience watching his wife Grant perform on stage.
In addition to the professional performers, the Lipscomb student choruses – including students from the university and elementary, middle and high schools – stole the show with a performance of the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Lighting of the Green participants were treated to free pictures with Santa and the chance to shop at various local vendors in the Merry Marketplace. Lipscomb University theatre students performed their annual duty of doling out the cookies and hot cocoa in colonial Williamsburg dress.
|Amy Grant||Melinda Doolittle|
|Amy Grant||Point of Grace|
|Sterling Gittens||Jenny Gill|
|Amanda McCaslin||Kim Keyes and Jenny Gill|
|Lipscomb student choruses||
Hot cocoa served by
ye olde theatre students
|Rhonda Lowry||"Silent Night" Finale|