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Greeting the season
Crowds, brisk weather boost parade turnout
Christmas Parade 3 es
Elizabeth Brady picks up lollipops Saturday as Santa passes by during the Cumming Christmas Parade & Festival. The annual procession featured floats, marching bands and more traveling along Market Place Boulevard. - photo by Emily Saunders
The Christmas season has officially arrived in Forsyth County.

Saturday, the city of Cumming and the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce held the annual Cumming Christmas Parade and Festival in conjunction with Northside Hospital-Forsyth’s Celebration of Lights.

Organizer April Raines said this year’s festivities were the most successful yet.

“We had a really, really good turnout with a lot of businesses and a lot of community organizations involved,” said Raines, adding that the weather played a big role in the event’s success.

“The weather held off for a beautiful event. The sun was out. It was really cold, but very pretty. We were really happy about the way the weather turned out.”

Raines said the parade had “basically almost double” the number of participates this year over last year and the number of spectators seemed to have increased too.

“From my line of sight, it was wall to wall,” she said.

Following the parade along Market Place Boulevard, spectators headed across Hwy. 20 to the hospital for the Celebration of Lights, which honors those who have battled cancer.

Katherine Watson with Northside said the event was also successful.

“From my vantage point, the tent looked pretty full,” she said. “Everything went just as smoothly as it could go.”

During that event, Mayor H. Ford Gravitt presented awards for the parade’s top floats.

Winners were:

• Most creative — Hansgrohe

• Most original — Moo Han Martial Arts

• Best use of Christmas theme — Advanced Disposal

• Chairman’s Award — Leadership Forsyth