Holiday Express at the UT Gardens Knoxville Dec. 2 through Jan. 1


Holiday Express returns to the University of Tennessee Gardens this holiday season, featuring 12 garden-scale model trains, thousands of lights and a miniature landscape with more than 100 buildings decorated for the season. This popular holiday exhibit, located on the Friendship Plaza at the entrance to the University of Tennessee Gardens off Neyland Drive, runs Dec. 2, 2011, through Jan. 1, 2012, and has proven to be a wonderful family tradition.

Holiday Express is open Fridays and Saturdays 12-8 p.m. and Sundays 12-6 p.m., beginning Dec. 2 through Christmas Day. For Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 1, the hours will be 12-6 p.m.

Special Event Sundays will be held Dec. 4 and 18. Families can explore the Holiday Express and the Gardens together with a scavenger hunt, make a few special holiday crafts and visit with Santa Claus. The Chick-fil-A Santa Cow will make appearances from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17.

“Holiday Express at the UT Gardens is a wonderful, festive activity for the whole family to enjoy and a great way to support one of our region’s best treasures, the UT Gardens,” said Sue Hamilton, director of the UT Gardens. “Children and adults alike are assured an educational and fun time as they explore the railroad antiquities on display, many of which are interactive, along with the incredible holiday scene that garden railroading expert Mark Fuhrman creates.”

Mark Fuhrman has partnered with the UT Institute of Agriculture and the Gardens for the fourth year to bring his wonderland to a larger audience during this special time of the year. Fuhrman customizes each train car and building by hand with a passion and care that has resulted in one of the largest train collections in East Tennessee.

Cost is $6 per person; children 4 and under are admitted free. Large group viewings can be scheduled by calling 865-974-7151. The event benefits the research and educational programs of the UT Gardens.

The Holiday Express is sponsored by WBIR, Knoxville News Sentinel, WUOT, UT Federal Credit Union, and the Clarence Brown Theatre. For more information, visit the  UT Gardens online  or call 865-974-7151.


The University of Tennessee Gardens, located in Knoxville and Jackson, are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Gardens were established to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through horticultural gardens, displays, collections, educational programs, special events and research. The Gardens are a Tennessee Certified Arboretum, an American Conifer Society Reference Garden and an All-America Selections Test Garden. The Gardens are open during all seasons and are free to the public except during special events. To learn more about the Gardens and its educational programming, visit


Contacts: Ben Ford, UT Gardens Special Events and Education Coordinator, 865-974-7151 or

Derrick Stowell, 865-974-7151 or

Sue Hamilton, UT Gardens Director, 865-974-7972 or