One thing common among Bartlett residents at the holidays hangs bright and shiny and right in front of them on their Christmas trees: The city’s collectible ornaments.
This year’s version is a deep blue glass globe with the red “150 Years” emblem, designed to celebrate the city’s sesquicentennial. They cost $10, and this year they are available only at Bartlett Station Municipal Center because of ongoing renovations at City Hall.
The ornaments have been a holiday fixture since 1988, and residents have been avidly collecting them ever since for their own trees and to give out as gifts ever since.
Susan Scott, administrative clerk in the Bartlett Parks and Recreation Department, moved to Bartlett in 1983 and has been a devoted city ornament collector almost from the very start.
“I always pick one up at the Bartlett Festival,” she said. She and her family go to the annual community event, so the ornaments are sweet memories of both fall fun and Christmases past.
Her favorites depict the city’s parks, she said.
She has kept her collection safe in an arrangement of individual hangers on her dining room table since her Christmas tree fell over one of the first few years in town and scratched one ornament.
The ornaments became a local tradition when volunteers who were hosting the Bartlett Christmas Parade in 1983 came up with the idea as a fundraiser. Dr. Tim Hacker designed the first one, and his wife, Tammy, and Wanda Bowen were a part of the committee.
“We still have a few of that one left, as well as others,” said Debbie Gelineau, Bartlett’s community relations director.
The ornaments that have sold out in the intervening years are those issued for 1991-1995, 1997, 2005, 2007 and 2013. Gelineau said she has one of each ornament in her office except for the 1992 version showcasing Bledsoe Park.
Each year, the ornament has a local theme. Past years’ themes have included:
- 1988: Christmas in Bartlett
- 1989: Bartlett City Hall
- 1990: Christmas Around the World
- 1991: Santa Claus
- 1992: Bledsoe Park
- 1993: Bartlett’s Japanese Garden
- 1994: Bartlett’s Memories
- 1995: Bartlett Museum
- 1996: Tennessee Bicentennial Celebration, 1796-1996
- 1997: Christmas in Bartlett
- 1998: Bartlett Justice Center
- 1999: Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center
- 2000: Bartlett Recreation Center
- 2001: Dixon Park
- 2002: Peace on Earth
- 2003: Bartlett Animal Shelter
- 2004: Christmas in Bartlett
- 2005: Bartlett Station Municipal Center
- 2006: Bartlett Fire Station #5
- 2007: Veterans Park
- 2008: Bartlett Public Library
- 2009: W.J. Freeman Park
- 2010: Cedar Hall
- 2011: Ellendale School/Singleton Community Center
- 2012: Davies Manor
- 2013: Bartlett High School
- 2014: Bartlett City Schools
- 2015: Nesbitt Park
The city also has some 150th anniversary merchandise available for purchase, Gelineau said.
Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to email@example.com.