Holiday cheer has already settled in Dahlonega for its annual Old Fashioned Christmas.
The town’s tree and square now illuminate the cold night, and will continue until Sunday, Jan. 10.
Like every year, shops in downtown Dahlonega will keep their businesses open longer to welcome holiday shoppers.
Cathy McLendon, information specialist at the Dahlonega Visitors Center, said horse-drawn carriage rides will run each day — not including Christmas day — until the end of December. Weather permitting, she said three carriages will be on the square at a time to give people a tour of the town’s historic district.
Dahlonega Carriage and Horse Rides will offer the experience on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 13 and under.
The annual Christmas parade will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in downtown Dahlonega.
Angelia Wilson, who coordinates the parade, said the floats and other vehicles will start at Dahlonega Baptist Church, located at 234 Hawkins St., move through the square on East Main Street past the Dahlonega Gold Museum and turn around at the “annex building” on Enota Street. The parade will loop back and end at the church.
Wilson said the path has changed into a loop this year to keep the crowd size down and encourage people to space out on both sides of the street. A map of the route can be found at dahlonegachristmas.com/christmas-parade.
Wilson said Dahlonega has held its traditional parade for over 20 years. In years with good weather, she said thousands of people have gathered for the event. For Dec. 12, she asks that people practice social distancing.
“We would encourage people to stay within their own family groups,” Wilson said. “We want people to enjoy themselves, but be safe. It is a community event.”
The deadline for parade entries is Tuesday, Dec. 1. To register your vehicle or float, call Wilson at 706-892-9741 or email her at email@example.com.
Cash prizes of $150 will be presented to participants who win in the four categories: walkers/animals, golf carts, vehicles and floats. A grand prize of $250 will be awarded for “Best Overall Parade Participant.” The judging will take place at 3 p.m., and the winners will be announced during the parade.
“They’re judging on originality and just having that community involvement with Christmas,” Wilson said. “We call ourselves ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ because Dahlonega is an old town. We like that hometown feeling.”
Other festivities happening during Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas:
- 6-8 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19. Live nativity in front of Dahlonega Methodist Church at 107 South Park St.
- Visit Santa, while keeping a distance, at the Dahlonega Visitors Center at 13 South Park St. To view Santa’s schedule, go to dahlonegachristmas.com/santa-schedule.
- All day through Dec. 31. The Festival of Trees invites people to walk among decorated trees, sponsored by members of the community, in Hancock Park, located on Hawkins Street.
- Tours at four wine tasting rooms in Dahlonega’s historic district throughout December.
- 4-6 p.m., Dec. 12 and 2-4 p.m., Dec. 13. Learn about the history of coffee and preparation methods with local coffee aficionado, Bryan Garris, at The Littlefield Cottage, located next to Canvas and Cork on 78 North Meaders St.
- Dahlonega Gold Museum’s Christmas Music Escape Room will take place throughout December.
For more information and to view an updated schedule for Old Fashioned Christmas, visit dahlonegachristmas.com.
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