NORTH GEORGIA TOWNS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS


Christmas in north Georgia conjures up images of colorful lights twinkling through the bare branches of trees, the glow of a warm fire crackling in an old stone fireplace, and a cup brimming with hot chocolate to warm the senses after a walk in the cold night air.  Like many North Georgians, I envision snow flakes gently falling on obscure mountain roads.  I dream of being bundled under blankets with my soul mate – the cold air on our faces, the sound of jingling of bells, the faint sound of carolers in the distance – as we are drawn through a perfect north Georgia white winter enchantment in an open sleigh.

Small towns and villages all across the north Georgia mountains are planning “old-fashioned” Christmas celebrations; from Santa arriving on an old-time train in Blue Ridge, to visiting Santa and Mrs. Claus  at their home in Canton. North Georgia has celebrations and activities for kids of all ages.  Take time to enjoy a local, “old-fashioned” celebration in your home town.  You will be glad you did.

We all know Santa lives at the North Pole, but since 2002, Santa and Mrs. Claus have opened their “southern home” in Canton to thousands of admirers.  The festivities begin with a warm welcome from Mrs. Claus.  Inside the home, you can view one of the largest collections of Christmas memorabilia south of the North pole.  You will delight at the Christmas villages all lit up for the holiday, including many model railroad train displays.

Upon exiting the home, you will find a path lit up with colorful lights and decorations leading to…Santa’s Workshop!  You can feel the excitement in the cold winter air as each step brings you closer to the “sacred shop”.  Kids instinctively know Santa is inside waiting to greet them with a resounding HO! HO! HO!  All children get to sit on Santa’s lap, and tell him what they want for Christmas.  Be sure to bring your camera to capture all the smiles.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at 6951 Vaughan Road, Canton every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Please call 770-345-6314 for more information

The tiny mountain village of Helen, known for its Alpine Village theme and Oktoberfest, is aglow in celebration of Christmas.  The streets are lined with displays of trees, candy canes, and garland.  Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the village streets for a wonderful and charming experience.  Visit www.helencvb.com/events/ for more information.

The “Christmas on the Square ” celebration takes place in downtown Blairsville on December 5.  The activities begin at 1:00 P.M. with open houses at the Mountain Life Museum, and historic courthouse.  The Christmas parade starts at 4;00 P.M.  Then at a little after 5:00 P.M., everyone will gather on the courthouse lawn to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree and sing carols.  Visit http://www.downtownblairsville.com/eventxmas.html for more information.

For a truly unique holiday experience, make plans to see the “Holiday Show” at the Rollins Planetarium on the campus of Young Harris College in Young Harris.  The holiday show,  ” Season of Light”,  is scheduled for two shows – December 4 and 11.  The show explores the traditions of the season, the burning of the yule log, Christmas tree lights and candles, the lighting of luminaries and the traditional Jewish Menorah.   The show also includes religious and cultural rituals, and of course Kris Kringle, Santa Claus, and St. Nicholas.  Weather permitting, The College Observatory will be open to the public.  For more information contact the college at 706-379-5195 or www.yhc.edu

Dawsonville celebrates its annual Christmas tree lighting on December 5.  There will be hot cider, cocoa and coffee to warm all in the cold night air.  The Dawson County High School Chorus will be performing and Santa will arrive as the crowd sings  “Here Comes Santa Claus”.  The kids will want to visit with santa just to make sure they are on his “good” list.  For more information, visit www.Dawson.org

Always a family favorite and worthy of inclusion is the ” Magical Nights of Lights” on Lake Lanier Islands.   There are over six miles of giant illuminated characters created from millions of lights.  Plan on visiting the Holiday Village, complete with a roaring bonfire, pony rides, and of course, Santa himself.  For more information please visit www.lakelanierislands.com/event.php?id=133

“An Old Fashioned Christmas in the Mountains” will be held in Cleveland on December 5.  The fun begins at noon in Historic Downtown Cleveland.  The celebration will feature a “Gingerbread House” competition.  Each entry must be modeled after an historic building or landmark in White County.  The Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia will choose the finalists on December 3.  The winner will be chosen on December 5.  There will also be a Christmas parade, caroling on the square, and a Santa look-a-like contest.  Free hot cocoa and cookies, kids activities, and games will also be featured.  Visit www.clevelandbetterhometown.org/events.html for more information.

Jasper will celebrate “Night of Lights Christmas Celebration” on December 5 beginning at 3:00 P.M.  Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  There will be a parade of lights and special music, face painting and activities for the kids.  Please visit www.jaspermerchantsassociation.com

Celebrate an “Old fashioned Christmas” in Dahlonega with a real “home-town” Christmas parade that will bring Santa Claus to town.  There are plenty of other holiday festivities planned throughout December such as caroling on the square, wine sampling, live theatrical Christmas events.  A visit to this charming mountain town during the holidays will simply amaze all with its lights and decorations in the town square.  On December 6, local “Bed and Breakfasts” will host a “Sleigh Bell Tour” of their facilities.  Please call the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center for more information, 706-864-3513, or www.dahlonega.org

Nothing is more special or rewarding than celebrating Christmas at your home with family and friends.  As an architect and custom builder, I take great pride in creating homes that will welcome family, friends, and…Santa to your special holiday celebration in the North  Georgia Mountains.  Please visit www.henryzuckerman.com

From our home to yours… HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!

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