Category: Blog

Meet Our New Marketing Specialist!

Photo by: Autumn Bay Photography

Hello, readers! My name is Whitney Embry, and I am the new Marketing Specialist for Wilson County Convention & Visitors Bureau a.k.a. Visit Wilco. I am a proud MTSU alumnae (Go Raiders!) and graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. While at MTSU, I was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority and the American Marketing Association. I am a social media guru, lover of all things girly, and a frequent shopper at Aldi.

My husband, Conner, and I have been married almost 3 years. We were college sweethearts and have been together since freshman year! Conner is an engineer in Nashville and you can usually find him at the local Home Depot (tell him I said hello if you see him haha!) We moved to Lebanon in 2019 shortly after we got married and fell in love with this community. Most recently, we brought home the sweetest Aussiedoodle named Hallie.

I am thrilled to be an integral part of the Tourism Department for Wilson County! While I may not have been born and raised here, it has quickly become my home. My goal is to be a friendly face and a resource for our local businesses and visitors. I am looking forward to using my marketing skills to showcase more of what our great county has to offer!

 

 

Fiddlers Grove Christmas Tour

Wilson County’s Merriest Christmas Bucket List

Attention Wilson County Christmas-lovers: We’ve got a festive challenge for you! If you’re ready to light up the streets of Wilco with holiday cheer, we invite you to take on our Christmas bucket list. We’ve put together a list of local, magical activities that will leave you brimming with Christmas spirit. Bundle up in your ugly sweater and warm up your vocal cords for Christmas carols, because it’s about to be the merriest season ever!

1. Drive Through The Dancing Lights of Christmas & Chad’s Winter Wonderland

Lebanon Dazzling Lights Christmas Display

Every county has a street known for its dazzling Christmas lights. Wilson County is lucky enough to have two. Pile into your car with your loved ones and settle in for a joyful, holiday cruise. Start off your night with Tennessee’s largest light and music show: The Dancing Lights of Christmas. You’ll drive through twinkling, colorful lights, while listening to synchronized music. This has become an annual tradition for many families near and far!

Afterwards, turn up the Christmas carols and fly your sleigh to Chad’s Winter Wonderland. You’ll enjoy over 350 pieces of holiday scenery from a dancing snowman to the Christmas Train. Word in the North Pole is…Santa himself will be there giving away candy canes and gathering Christmas lists! Both displays are openly nightly seven days a week through New Years.

2. See a Christmas Movie at The Historic Capitol Theatre

Capitol Theatre Lebanon

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a heart-warming holiday movie night! Take a trip back to the 1950s for an authentic movie theatre experience at Lebanon’s Capitol Theatre. Recently renovated, you’ll enjoy all of the historic charm with the modern comforts you’ve come to love. Choose from upcoming films like Elf, The Polar Express, White Christmas and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. They even have a special Christmas Trivia and Home Alone event on December 4th.

3. Get in The Spirit at One of Wilson County’s Three Christmas Parades

Wilson County Christmas Parade

You don’t want to miss the exciting energy of Wilson County’s Christmas parades! Get swept up in the merry spirit as you experience creative costumes, holiday floats, marching bands and your favorite holiday songs.

Two of the parades have themes this year including “Jingle All The Way” and “A Patriotic Christmas.” Choose your favorite or attend them all for a tree-mendous time!

New this year: The Mt. Juliet parade will finish with the City Tree Lighting, along with music, food, games and awards for the Best Residential and Commercial Decorating.

  • Lebanon – Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 2PM
  • Mt. Juliet – Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 11AM
  • Watertown – Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 3PM
  • Gladeville – Sunday, December 12 at 2PM

4. Enjoy Holiday Shopping at Lebanon’s ‘Tis the Season’ Weekend Extravaganza

Wilson County Christmas Shopping

Nothing says Christmas like shopping with live reindeer in the streets! For the first time this year, the city of Lebanon has combined your favorite holiday activities for an unbeatable weekend. The events will kick off on Friday night with the Christmas tree lighting and go through Sunday afternoon with the Christmas parade.

It’s the perfect opportunity to support local businesses, while also savoring the enchanting feel of downtown Lebanon during the best time of year. Enjoy sweet treats and crafts, watch performances in the street, visit Santa or take a carriage ride to explore the festively decorated shops. For a full list of activities, check out the event flyer.

5. Take a Historic Tour at “A Tennessee Christmas in the Grove”

Fiddlers Grove Christmas Tour

Take a step back in time and explore the decorated cabins and buildings at Fiddlers Grove Historic Village. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas with your loved ones. Make sure to visit the General Store to purchase a warm cup of hot cocoa or cider.

On Saturday, December 11, they will have a special Candlelight Tour. This will be a fun-filled night with goodies and drinks included.

6. Make a Child’s Christmas by Donating a Toy to Wilson County Christmas For All

Wilson County Christmas For All

Like the moral of the classic story of The Grinch, the greatest joy comes from giving back to others. There are two wonderful nonprofits in Wilson County that provide toys at Christmas time to local underprivileged kids. They are Wilson County Christmas for All and Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet. Each year, they give toys to thousands of disadvantaged children.

You can choose to donate a toy or ‘sponsor’ a child and buy items directly from his or her Christmas wish list. You never know how much a small gift can mean to a child who has very little. After you check this one off your Christmas bucket list, take a minute to imagine the big smile you’re bringing to a child’s face.

 

Well, that’s a wrap. If you’re coming to town, make sure you check our Christmas Bucket List twice! You won’t want to miss out on any of these special Wilson County traditions.

Top 5 Things to do Before Traveling During COVID-19

It’s no secret that we are living in weird, unprecedented times right now. While traveling might not be at the top of some people’s list, it is necessary for others and some just want to escape for the weekend and be safe and healthy while doing so. If you are looking for a weekend trip to get you away from your everyday life, Visit WilCo has a “COVID-19 Travel Check List” to keep you safe and healthy while traveling.

 

  1. Before you book a flight, hotel, or buy tickets to attractions, always check your local travel restrictions. You might have travel restrictions that don’t allow you to travel to certain places. Check and see if you have to supply anyone or anywhere with a negative COVID test or if there is a quarantine requirement once you return home.
  2. Always check your hotel’s sanitizing protocol. These protocols should be listed on their website when booking, or you can call their front desk and ask or their protocols.
  3. Plan your travel schedule and itinerary. With so many places having COVID-19 protocols in place, it is important to do your research beforehand. While being spontaneous can be fun, it’s not fun to show up to a museum and find out that you have to buy a ticket beforehand or that they are already at capacity for the day. Knowing restaurants’ protocols are also important before showing up to eat so you know if they have indoor dining, mask requirements, outdoor dining only, etc. *WilCo tip: One of Lebanon’s newest restaurants, Sassy Pecan has outdoor seating, and the food is to die for (homemade confections with toffee in every bite)!
  4. Don’t leave without masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products.
  5. Finally, enjoy yourself! Traveling might look different, but you can still have fun while following COVID-19 protocols.

 

WilCo cannot wait to see you in our beautiful county, and we want you to stay safe while doing so!

If you need help planning your trip, click here to browse through our 2021 Visitor’s Guide.

We have so many things to do in WilCo, whether it is an event at the Farm Bureau Expo Center, a pizza from Town Square Social, or a trip to any of our #PaintWilCo murals, you won’t ever get bored while you’re in town. Make sure to tag us in your pictures @VisitWilCo so we can see all of your excursions and fun while in WilCo!

THANK YOU to our Veterans

Yesterday I had the honor as the CVB Director and a member of the Wilson County Murals Committee, to be part of the unveiling of our newest mural in our #PaintWilco murals project. With the perfect location donated by Lisa and Darryl Noble and the brilliant artistry of Brad VanHook, the Veterans Mural now looks over the Veterans Plaza (Wilson County Veteran’s Service Office) as a symbol of our ever-grateful hearts to our Veterans.
 
Yesterday I had a much bigger honor than unveiling the mural. Yesterday I had the honor of meeting and talking with so many of Wilson County’s Veterans. Men and women that have sacrificed so much for our country. My wife and twin boys were there, and I gentleman who actually thanked us for bringing them. This man that probably went through things I cannot imagine was thanking US!?! Selfless hearts are a thing many of us are guilty of being short on, but this was not the case for the men and women I spoke with yesterday.
 
So again, I say to our Veterans, Thank You. Thank you for being the inspiration for this mural. Thank you for being an inspiration through your acts. Thank you for being the life blood that made the Veterans Museum happen and continue to happen. Thank you from my boys that thought the helicopter in the museum was the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. Personally, thank you for the reminder. We get caught up in ourselves and sometimes just see “the old guy in the Veterans cap” or give no more than a passing thought to a Field of Flags, but we all need to be reminded that each cap tells a story. Each flag in that field tells a story. We need to take the time to hear those stories and appreciate them.
 
Last night at dinner, as we talked about the people we met, my wife, Kristy, said “Today was good for the soul.” I could not have put any better words together.
Statement from: Jason Johnson, Wilson County Director of Tourism
 
 
Photo Credits: Wilson County Mayor’s Office, Lebanon Police Department, and Visit WilCo

Breeden’s Orchard

Maintaining a sense of normalcy in a time that is so full of uncertainty can be hard. Breeden’s Orchard in Mt. Juliet is trying to keep as much “normal” in the world as they can. Starting March 31, 2020, they will be open Tuesdays 9-1, Thursdays noon-4, and Saturdays 9-1 to offer locally grown and sourced produce and products.

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Go with the Flow!

Hospitality-the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

It’s been my profession for over 20 years.  It’s what my wife and I do at home all the time.  We are “that house” in the neighborhood, the migration to our backyard and patio is a natural, frequent occurrence and we love it!  Welcoming people, inviting friends, and creating moments is what we do in our home all the time and I feel extremely lucky that I am now doing that on the grander scale of my “home”, Wilson County.

Hi, Jason Johnson here, and along with my wife, Kristy, and our twin boys, Aiden and Elijah, let me say that I am beyond happy to take the position of Tourism Director for the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  I have called Wilson County home for nearly 15 years.  I’ve done and seen a lot in Wilson County, but the more I look and learn, the more I realize there is a whole lot more that I HAVEN’T done in Wilson County.  We are loaded with things to see, places to eat, and shops to visit!

We are obviously in a strange time for tourism (and many other things), but the horizon on the other side of this is bright and filled with possibilities for Wilson County.  I can’t wait for you all to experience (or re-experience) the hospitality of Wilson County!  Until then, check out our website, send us an email at tourism@wilsoncountytn.gov, or give us a call at 615-547-6438 and start planning!

 

 


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