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June 24, 2024

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City of Franklin’s 2020 Virtual Christmas Tree lighting Event Wins Telly Award

The City of Franklin announced its 2020 Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting Program has won a Silver Telly for General Virtual Events & Experiences in the 42nd Annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards honors excellence in video and television across all screens and is judged by leaders from video platforms, television, streaming networks, and production companies including Netflix, Dow Jones, A&E Networks, Hearst Media, Nickelodeon, ESPN Films, Vimeo and more.

During the pandemic the City of Franklin created a virtual Christmas Tree Lighting program with local singing group the Shindellas. Communications Manager Milissa Reierson wrote and produced the program featuring the group looking for the spirit of Christmas in Franklin. Also appearing in the program was the choir from Freedom Intermediate School. With the assistance of sponsors Middle Tennessee Electric and Williamson Medical Center, the City worked with Think Squared Media to shoot and edit the program which was streamed live on the City’s social channels and aired on Franklin TV.

“In the face of a year like no other, the City of Franklin has continued to defy the limitations of our new world, in continuing to create compelling and engaging work”, says Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje. “This year’s submissions doubled down on what we already know about the industry. Creativity cannot be stopped. Collaboration will always prevail. New ideas and stories will always find a way to break through to an audience.”

“The virtual Christmas Tree Lighting event was such a fun show to write and produce. It was a dream to work with the powerhouse female group the Shindellas who brought the script to life and Think Squared Media’s expertise and editing capability made the program top notch,” said Communications Manager Milissa Reierson. “Even though we were living through a pandemic, our Communications team wanted to bring a little light to Franklin during the holiday season. It is truly an honor to win a Telly award for Franklin in this new category. Thank you to our sponsors Middle Tennessee Electric and Williamson Medical Center.”

This year’s winner’s announcement caps a year-long celebration of creators defying the limitations by embracing platforms to increase awareness about injustices and promote solidarity for movements, as well as geographical, like developing fully remote pipelines for dispersed teams. This year also saw the continued expansion of new categories to reflect and celebrate new forms of producing work in light of the pandemic. New categories included Remote Production, Virtual Events & Experiences, and an increase in animation categories.

Last year, The Telly Awards attracted more than 12,000 entries from top video content producers including Adobe, Adult Swim, the BBC, Condé Nast, J. Paul Getty Museum, PBS, Playstation, RadicalMedia, T Brand Studio, Ogilvy & Mather and The Walt Disney Company.

To see the winning 2020 Franklin Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting featuring the Shindellas go to or The full list of the 42nd Annual Telly Awards winners can be found at

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.