Valdosta Kicks Off Holiday Season, Dec. 6

The public is invited as Mayor John Gayle and Valdosta First Lady Peggy Gayle officially kick off the holiday season in Valdosta at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, on Friday, Dec. 6, at 5:30 p.m. Attendees of all ages will enjoy a special visit from Santa Claus, as he assists with the lighting of the fully-decorated 30-foot Christmas tree located on the Lee Street Grass Lot, located at the corner of Lee Street and Central Avenue.

Members of the Valdosta High School Chorus, under the direction of Jonathan Headen, will lead the crowd in the singing of a few holiday favorites. The event will also feature the vocal talent of Jennifer McQuade. While enjoying the festivities, citizens may enjoy hot cocoa and other light refreshments provided by the Valdosta Main Street office.

At the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Valdosta Youth Council will be collecting signatures for season greeting cards that will be mailed to military service members who are deployed during the holidays.

Citizens are encouraged to stay downtown after the Christmas Tree Lighting to enjoy the fun dining, shopping and entertainment experience of First Friday, which will also feature a Tacky Christmas Sweater theme.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, citizens are invited back downtown to enjoy the Greater Valdosta Community Christmas Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. The parade will start at Woodrow Wilson Drive, proceed down N. Patterson Street, and end at the Department of Health Building, in Downtown Valdosta. The creative holiday floats will be judged on overall appearance, special effects, creativity, workmanship and use of the theme, which this year is “Christmas on Main Street.”

For more information, contact Valdosta Main Street at 229-259-3577 or visit