Franklin’s first Christmas Retail Walk starts today; much on tap

Liberty Street in Franklin will transform itself into a scene out of a Hallmark movie this weekend with the Franklin Retail and Business Association’s first Old Fashioned Christmas Retail Walk.

The walk will begin today with multiple Liberty Street retailers – plus a few on West Park and 13th streets – remaining open until 8:30 p.m. Saturday will be an all-day event with events taking place from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“We just wanted to get people back in town and shopping and having the whole (Christmas shopping) experience,” said Retail Association administrator Jess Carroll. “I want Franklin to be the experience.”

Carroll said the idea sprouted from her memories of when it was a production to go out and look for a tree and complete the holiday shopping list.

“There was a lot of hustle and bustle, like you see in old movies or even Hallmark movies, they all have that community around it,” Carroll said.

Live trees will be sold off of wooden racks up and down the street and some alleyways. Local Boy Scouts will also be on hand to create fresh wreaths and garland.

“In the old days it wasn’t just go out to a big box store and pick up the tree and go home,” Carroll said.

A few businesses will get into the spirit with holiday-themed drinks that can be enjoyed while shopping or while dining al fresco under a portable heater.

Roaming elves will provide information on children’s activities that include a gingerbread man hunt, face painting and Santa pictures.

After checking the tree and gifts off the to-do list, Jamie’s Kids representative will be available for wrapping anything bought from a downtown retailer.

Completing the snowglobe-esqe theme will be carolers and a performance by the Franklin Black Knight Marching Band.

Carroll said she and the other retailers hope the walk will become another Franklin event.

“We have a grand vision … we hope it grows and grows,” she said.