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From stage to screen
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A tradition continues with “Hark at the Park! A Harvey Family Christmas.” Event organizers have made one big change from previous years, that being there will not be a live audience. Pictured is Kevin Harvey performing during last year’s event. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

“Hark at the Park! A Harvey Family Christmas” will usher in the season on Tuesday, Dec. 22, with a musical extravaganza, but not before a live audience. 

“Because of COVID-19 and since things are getting worse, we couldn’t risk that many people in the same place,” said organizer Steve Harvey. “For safety, we decided it would be best to tape the show. We are filming this week. No audience allowed. It will air on Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m.”

The recording will be aired on, YouTube and Ben Lomand Channel 6. 

“We are excited about offering Hark at the Park this way,” said Harvey. “We are able to set up multiple cameras and give a better audio and visual performance than we have in the past when we’ve recorded it.”

The Christmas event has been offered for several years as a fundraiser for Magness Library and Hamilton Street Activity Center. Its combination of humor and heartwarming melodies have made it a tradition for local residents who have packed Park Theater for sold-out shows. 

Nine months into a pandemic and with Christmas just days away, some might need holiday cheer. 

“Our family loves offering this show,” said Harvey. “We would do it no matter what. We enjoy it and people seem to like it. It’s our tradition to carry it on, despite the pandemic. Maybe it’s needed now more than ever.” 

A highly anticipated performance in previous shows is that of Joe Harvey performing “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft. Other artists who have been confirmed are Cody McCarver, Pacey Tate, Tommy Vann, and Cat Grizzle. McCarver is a newcomer to the Hark at the Park stage. 

The show is still a fundraiser. Rather than selling tickets and dividing those proceeds between Magness Library and Hamilton Street Activity Center, donations are being accepted.

“There are different ways to donate,” said Harvey. “We have a Hark at the Park Facebook page. People who want to make a donation online can find a link on that page and use Paypal. They can donate in person at Magness Library or mail in a donation.”

Donations for Hark at the Park can be mailed to Magness Library, 118 W. Main Street, McMinnville, TN 37110.