By JOHN MCBRYDE
The weather for the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s Dickens of a Christmas Saturday and Sunday in downtown Franklin could have a little bit of everything for festival attendees — everything, that is, except for sunshine.
“It does definitely look like a wet weekend,” said Brittney Whitehead, a meteorologist in the Nashville office for the National Weather Service. “There is a question of how much that precip is going to be frozen and how much will be rain. Right now it looks like the way this storm system is tracking, most of the precip will be rain. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some mix in there too with the current forecast track.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the NWS forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of rain possibly mixed with snow and a high of 39 on Saturday, and an 80 percent chance of rain possibly changing to snow and a high of 38 Sunday.
“Either way, there’s pretty high confidence we’re going to have a wet weekend,” Whitehead said.
And also either way, Dickens of a Christmas will not be canceled.
It’s on, rain or snow or shine,” said Liz Hall, director of festivals for the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County. “I’m trying to send out all the positive thoughts possible.”
Hall said the festival will include several options for attendees to get warm and dry. There will be large tents on site with seats, tables and heaters. Also, vendors will be selling hot coffee, cocoa, apple cider and , in keeping with the Victorian theme, wassail.
In addition, the Fourth Avenue Church of Christ will open its doors for festival attendees to get warm, use the bathroom, and enjoy coffee or water.
Hall is encouraging Dickens attendees to download the Heritage Foundation’s new mobile app. It features a full listing of vendors, entertainment, essential locations, a map and more. The app will continue to be updated until the days of the festival, and it will also be active for Heritage Foundation festivals in 2019.
Festival-goers should also check out the new exhibit designed by local artist Ed James and his Think Big Stuff brand. Located in the parking lot adjacent to Landmark Booksellers, the exhibition features the Downtown Merchants Christmas Celebrations created by Think Big Stuff, Franktown Festival of Lights information, The Wonderful World of Art & Puppetry, Think Big Stuff Digital Arts Gallery, and The Light The World Parade project scheduled to appear at the Tournament of Roses January 2020.
Franklin Transit shuttles will be running to and from The Park at Harlinsdale Farm to downtown Franklin for $1 each way. The shuttles will run Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (last shuttle departure at 5:15 p.m.) and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (last shuttle departure at 4:15 p.m.).