November has arrived and with it, the holidays are just about in full swing. Stores have begun to place focus on their holiday inventory and holiday commercials have made their presence known on T.V. and radio.
Christmas Village began in 1961 as a charitable event and continues to this day to be one of the oldest charitable events in Music City, supported and run entirely by volunteers from the Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club.
During the 51 year history, the event has generated over 8 million dollars benefiting thousands of people, as the proceeds support special hearing and speech programs at Vanderbilt; teens and adults recovering from traumatic head injury and stroke at Vanderbilt; and funds and scholarships for aspiring artists at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Each year, the Village brings together approximately 260 unique merchants, selling gifts, clothes, jewelry, antiques, holiday wares and food, and 20,000 shoppers.
As previously mentioned, the first Christmas Village was held in 1961 at the Hippodrome in downtown Nashville. This event raised $1,000. The most successful year so far in Christmas Village history is 2011, in which $460,000 was raised and donated.
Operating Christmas Village requires more than 1,500 volunteer hours from over 200 volunteers each year. Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club members begin organizing the show in January under the direction of two volunteer co-chairs and approximately a thirty-member board. Work continues through the November event, traditionally held two weekends before Thanksgiving.
Berenice Miller Denton and Barbara White Fridrich, the first co-chairs of the event, paved the way for the tremendous success of Christmas Village today. They planned a Christmas fairyland, with beautiful and exciting gift displays from local merchants. The show started as a one-day event and has now grown into a 4-day shopping extravaganza with shoppers and merchants traveling to Nashville from around the country.
This year’s Christmas Village will be held on Nov. 9-11 at the State Fairgrounds. During this time, event attendees can browse from approximately 270 merchants (to see a list of merchants planning to be at the 2012 Christmas Village, click here) and enjoy the holiday spirit with around 25,000 shoppers from all over the U.S.!
A variety of unique seasonal and gift items are offered, including: toys for all ages, clothing for children and adults, jewelry, food items, pottery, collectibles and unusual pieces for the “person who has everything”. This is a great event to attend to get inspiration for Christmas gifts and get your holiday shopping list checked off early.
Tickets can be purchased online here for $10 and also are available for $8 from Nashville area branches of SunTrust Bank, The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, and the Vanderbilt Valet Stations. Tickets are $10 when purchased at the door. Children age 9 and under are free.
Hours for the event are as follows:
- November 9, 2012 Fri 9:00am- 9:00pm
- November 10, 2012 Sat 9:00am- 6:00pm
- November 11, 2012 Sun 12:00pm- 6:00pm
For more information about Christmas Village, visit its website here.