Children were excited to see a Black Santa and lined up to sit on his lap at Christmas in Burlington Photo by Vivian Shipe

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — The one day of the week it didn’t rain in Knoxville was filled with activities for children from one end of East Knoxville to the other.

For almost ten hours children were treated to Santa arriving by a firetruck, bags of candy, hot chocolate and gifts.

The day of joy began in the Burlington district as business owners, sponsors, and churches provided fun and fellowship from noon till five. There were resources, vaccines, and Santa.

Following the Christmas in Burlington event, the annual city-wide Blessings on Bell Street, sponsored by Overcoming Believers Church kicked off at 6 pm. For three hours over 1500 people poured through the church which had been transported into a winter wonderland with hundreds of gifts for children under the age of 17.

Area organizations helped with the project which drew smiles of joy and amazement from those in attendance as children took home bikes, dolls, toy cars, gift cards and toys galore.

Pastor Daryl Arnold was ecstatic as he watched members of the diverse community interacting and smiling all through the church building.

A day of joy indeed.