Community gathers for tree lighting on Friday

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The Tennessee Equality Project has teamed up with OutLoud! Department Store for its third annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on Friday Dec. 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

This marks the second year that the event will be held at OutLoud, which is located at 1703 Church Street. In 2004, the inaugural year of the event, it was at the home of Terry White. It moved to OutLoud the next year.

"We’re grateful to OutLoud for hosting this event,” said Christopher Sanders, TEP president. “Come join us to hear more about the upcoming legislative session and get some of your shopping done for a good cause."

The public is invited and encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. They are also encouraged to bring an ornament for the tree.

OutLoud is donating 10 percent of all store purchases that night to benefit TEP.

Last year more than 100 people gathered at OutLoud! bookstore for the ceremony. It was hosted by O&A Today TV hosts Brent Meredith and Jeremy Ryan. The ceremony included a performance by Steff Mahan. TEP Corporate Circle members were recognized, as was TEP lobbyist Jenny Ford. Last year’s event was organized by Renee Kasman.