Franktown Festival of Lights

The Franktown Festival of Lights is the only drive-thru light spectacle in Williamson County. It features over 200 light displays that are synchronized to classic Christmas songs on the radio.

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Franktown Festival of Lights
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All 200 displays are powered by generators. Attendees can enjoy the light displays in the comfort of their car.

Now in its third year, the Franktown Festival of Lights offers a colorful and exciting Christmas-spirited experience that delights adults and kids of all ages. Last year, over 15,000 attended the event to view the 1-mile course of the twinkling holiday display. It took more than 300 volunteers to set up the event and help with the parking and tickets.

Booths that offer goodies and hot chocolate replaced Santa’s Village last year. There was also an enormous Christmas tree for a photo opportunity. This year, the organizers are planning to bring back Santa’s Village.

Festival Dates

The Franktown Festival of Lights happens every year, but the dates vary. Last year, the event was held from the 26th of November to the 26th of December 2020.  The date for this year’s festival has not yet been set due to the pandemic.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

If you want to attend the Franktown Festival of Lights, you need to visit the Williamson County Ag Expo Park. It is located at 4215 Long Ln., Franklin TN 37064. Due to the park’s central location and proximity to restaurants, shopping, and hotels, it has become a common destination for many national, local, and regional events.

The Williamson County Ag Expo Park is located at Peytonsville Road at Exit #61 on I-65. If you live close by, you can go to the park on foot. You can also use your phone’s navigational application to find the park or ask the locals for directions.

Festival Hours

The usual festival hours’ operation is from 5:00 pm to 10:00 daily. The Franktown Festival of Lights is a dog-friendly event that can be enjoyed by all ages from Monday to Sunday. The best thing about this dazzling light display is that you can enjoy it without leaving the comfort of your car.

Sometimes your iPhone camera is just not good enough

Cost to Visit the Festival

Admission is $25 to $100 per car. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the age. Admission for any vehicle with over 15 passengers is $35.00. For limos, tickets cost $45.00. Coaches and buses will be charged $100. A $5 discount will be given to all staff, faculty, and students of Franklin Special School District and Williamson County with the code PENCIL. First responders and veterans will also get a $5 discount. The $25 admission fee will help support the local organization Franktown Open Hearts that support the inner-city youth as well as their families.

Weather and What to Wear

It’s partly cloudy in Franklin year-round. The winters are wet and extremely cold, and the summers are humid and hot. Summer lasts from the 26th of May to the 20th of September. The normal daily high temperature during the hot season is above 81° Fahrenheit. Winter lasts from the 28th of November to the 26th of February. The average daily high temperature during the cold season is below 56° Fahrenheit.

Franklin gets extremely cold during winter. The festival of lights is held during this time, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers. The coldest period usually starts in December and lasts until February. Consider wearing a heavy coat, heavy-duty pants or jeans, sweater, boots, wool socks, and a base layer when you’re attending the event. Don’t forget to wear a pair of gloves as well. You can also wear a warm hat.

If you have no plans to come out of your car, you can wear fewer clothes. Just make sure that the heater in your car works. But if you want to stay comfortable throughout the event, it is a good idea to wear as many comfy clothes as possible. This is particularly important if you are bringing your kids with you. If it gets too hot, you can remove your clothes anytime.

Hotels nearby Franktown Festival of Lights

If you are planning to stay overnight in Franklin, consider booking a room in one of the hotels and inns in the area. Here are some of the hotels and inns that you can consider.

Residence Inn by Marriott

Residence Inn by Marriott offers spacious rooms with separate sleeping, living, and working zones. With complimentary breakfast, 24-hour markets, fully functional kitchens, and grocery delivery service, guests can enjoy and maximize their time while they travel. Residence Inn has evening events that allow guests to socialize with each other and the local community. Free Wi-Fi is also offered in both guest and public spaces to guarantee continuous connectivity.

Hampton Inn & Suites

Hampton Inn & Suites is conveniently located just off Interstate 65, 17 mi from downtown Nashville, 20 mi from Nashville International Airport, and five mi from downtown Franklin. This property boasts spacious, modern rooms, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, friendly staff, and an outdoor pool. Hampton Inn & Suites also offers an electric charging station for cars.

Hilton Franklin Cool Springs

Hilton Franklin Cool Springs has located five mi from downtown Franklin. The hotel offers luxurious rooms, over 6,200 sq ft of meeting space, as well as a restaurant and bar. There’s also an elevated outdoor pool with a fireplace and large terrace, as well as a fitness center. Other hotel amenities include free parking, a business center, free Wi-Fi, and children’s TV networks.

Best Western Historic Franklin Inn

Best Western Historic Franklin Inn is located at 1308 Murfreesboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064-3041. The property offers spacious rooms with either two queen beds or 1 king bed. The rooms have a desk, ergonomic chair, free Wi-Fi, fridge, and iron/board. Best Western Historic Franklin Inn also offers free breakfast and complimentary USA Today. Other amenities and facilities include a children’s playground, parking lot, and exterior pool.

Where to Eat – Recommended Restaurants Near the Fest

Williamson County Ag Expo Park, but there are food vendors. There are a lot of restaurants nearby as well. Franklin is home to long-standing local favorites and a growing number of new restaurants. Here are some of your options.

Copper Kettle

The family restaurant offers homemade salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Copper Kettle’s bright interior features earthy green tones and warm woods. The restaurant’s Meat and Three daily specials feature a different section of dishes and entrée choice every day.

Merridee’s Bread Basket

If you’re craving some sweets, consider visiting Merridee’s Bread Basket. They offer dinners, sweets, and lunches, all made from scratch. Merridee’s Bread Basket is known for its welcoming atmosphere and healthy dishes. They offer a wide range of salads, sandwiches, quiches, soups, pastries, cakes, cookies, and other daily specials. Merridee’s chicken salad sandwich is popular among locals and tourists alike. It’s filled with Hellman’s mayonnaise, premium chicken tenders, and celery. You can also enjoy live concerts featuring local talents on Saturday nights.

55 South

55 South offers a laidback atmosphere where you can enjoy fresh oysters and other delicious dishes. The restaurant got its name from the interstate which connects New Orleans and Memphis. 55 South offers a wide range of classic New Orleans dishes and Southern bar snacks. You can enjoy these dishes in a Cajun oyster house-themed restaurant with exposed brick, reclaimed materials, and weathered wood decorations.

Cork & Cow

Cork & Cow offers a wide range of beef cuts cooked over a hickory and oak wood fire and garnished with sea salt and lemon butter. The restaurant specializes in steak, but it also offers other entrees such as seafood, pork, and chicken dishes. Cork & Cow’s interior consists of a stunning green banquette, sparkling chandeliers, and exposed brick.

MacK & Kate’s

If you’re looking for a place where you can eat brunch, consider visiting MacK & Kate’s. The family-owned restaurant offers a variety of sophisticated Southern dishes that use local ingredients. MacK & Kate’s is open for dinner and lunch as well. The Tuscan, one of their most popular dishes, is a delightful combination of garlic butter croutons, prosciutto, poached eggs, balsamic drizzle, and asparagus.

More Things to Do in the Area

Franklin is home to rolling green hills, a captivating town center, friendly folks, and white picket fences enclosing lavish estates. Aside from the Franklin Festival of Lights, there are a lot of other things to do in the area.

You can watch live music in the picturesque community of Leiper’s Fork or stay in Dark Horse Recording, the same studio that popular stars like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift have recorded songs in. Another option is to explore the historic downtown Franklin. Here, you will see a perfect blend of century-old buildings, antiquated movie theatres, eateries, and hip boutiques. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a sunny stroll with your family or four-legged friend.

If you love taking photos, consider visiting the Natchez Trace Parkway. It’s one of the most picturesque spots in Franklin for sunrise. The 400-mile roadway is a popular bike trail as well. It features cyclist-only campgrounds where you can enjoy scenic views alone or with your family and friends.

Arik Akunis
Arik Akunis

My name is Arik Akunis and I have been in the field of lighting for over the last 20 years, I started my journey in the world of lighting in the lighting niche for events where I first came across a festival of lights and immediately fell in love with it.