Susan Libertadore | Staff Photographer

With the break over and the Thanksgiving leftovers relegated to the back of the fridge, it’s safe to say the holiday season is in full swing.

Unfortunately, it also brings finals season along.

If you need a little holiday cheer to break up your day-long study sessions, it may be worth heading down to Christmas on the Cumberland.

Anyone who has spent more than a year in Clarksville probably knows about this popular tradition.

Christmas on the Cumberland is a free annual event where all of McGregor Park on Riverside Drive is decorated with lights.

When I say all of McGregor Park, I’m not exaggerating. Almost every tree on Riverwalk is completely covered in lights, and there are even more displays constructed alongside the entire path.

Christmas on the Cumberland is a classic family-friendly holiday option.

There are opportunities to visit with Santa on select days, and on any given night there are plenty of families with children on the Riverwalk.

That being said, I like going around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. when it’s a little less busy.

Christmas on the Cumberland is open Sundays through Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., which leaves plenty of time to try and escape the early-hour crowds.

My friends and I like late-night walks in McGregor Park anyway, and Christmas on the Cumberland has a nice sense of serenity once those crowds have died down.

If you like going on walks, Christmas on the Cumberland is a great excuse to make the trek down to Riverside for an evening.

The sensation of walking through Christmas on the Cumberland for the first time is sort of like being in Willy Wonka’s factory, in that there are lots of colors and flashing lights in every direction, and it can be a little hard to know what to focus on.

The light display on Riverside is a mainstay of Clarksville culture.

While it’s not necessarily as exciting as some of my other travels, it’s the sort of event that all APSU students should experience before they graduate.

It’s not an incredibly masterful or tasteful job of decoration, but honestly, it doesn’t have to be. That’s why I feel Christmas on the Cumberland is a perfect escape from study marathons.

It’s not overly fancy, but rather is content to be exactly what it is — a whole lot of corny lights and holiday cheer.

But I think corny lights and holiday cheer are exactly what we all need to de-stress during final exams.

On behalf of Conor’s Travels, have a safe and happy holiday season.