Tis the season for Christmas celebrations in Middle Georgia

"Next year it will go back to Main Street", Ed Bolt, vice president of sponsoring Safe Events For Families, (SEFF), and owner-operator of Main Street Photo Studio, said Monday.

Tonight's the night when Shawnee's annual Christmas parade will start lighting up the downtown area with dozens of brightly and colorfully decorated floats, marching units and other rolling stock at 7 p.m. The street will be closed to traffic from Peninsula Drive to Buenos Aires Street.

At 6:30 p.m., Mayor Ron Shaver will flip the switch to light the city's Christmas tree in City Park.

On Thursdays, Dec. 8 and 15, the public is invited to enjoy complimentary carriage rides at the Square from 5:30 p.m.to 8:30 p.m. Stores will be open for Christmas shopping. Attendees can also expect plenty of holiday decorations, live music and festive snacks at this free community event.

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To the delight of children, Santa and Mrs. Claus will bring Christmas cheer to the Randolph Library on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. and last until 6 p.m. Traditional Christmas music will be performed by local church choirs and hot chocolate and coffee will be served. Santa's Wonderland and Winter Festival and Parade and 19th annual Lighted Boat Parade will be held Saturday, with the winter festival beginning at noon and the lighted boat parade at 4:45 p.m. While at the library, they can pick up their passports for the Snowflake Walk, which directs families to different businesses downtown where kids can get a small Christmas treat.

Santa himself will be in the parade, as well as at Windmill Park after the parade.

Lynn Bonner, activities coordinator for the Manchester fire company, said she's looking forward to their breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 3.

ORANGE CITY: Light Up Orange City, Friday, 5:30 p.m. City Hall, 205 E. Graves Ave. During Friday's tree lighting, Bethel Baptist Church, New Life Apostolic Church and the combined chorus groups of Oconee County and North Oconee high schools will be providing musical entertainment.

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The parade will start on Main Street in front of the Parks and Recreation Department and end at the corner of Vernon Street and Highway 41 near Taco Bell. The parade route is on West Main Street.

The Christmas tree lighting is scheduled to happen shortly after the parade has concluded. The parade will be starting at 2 p.m.at Meadow Avenue and travel down Main Street to Rosewood Avenue, then to the County Administrative Building on Woolfolk Avenue, with Santa as the grand finale.

Those interested in participating in the nighttime parade should submit an application to the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce before Friday, Dec. 2. The 31st Palm Coast Yacht Club Holiday Boat Parade is at 6 p.m. December 17 on the Intracoastal Waterway.

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