IN PHOTO: City of Valdosta Light Equipment Operator Lonnie Ledbetter places the star on the 30-foot Christmas tree assembled on the front lawn of Valdosta City Hall. The public is invited to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting that will be held here on Friday, Dec. 2, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to kick off the holiday season in Downtown Valdosta.
Mayor John Gayle and Valdosta First Lady Peggy Gayle will officially kick off the holiday season in Valdosta at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, on Friday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. Attendees 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 front lawn of City Hall, at 216 E. Central Avenue.
This year’s event will also feature the St. John’s Catholic Church Youth Choir, under the direction of Donna Farwell, who will lead attendees in the singing of a few holiday favorites. This exceptional 32-member choir performs locally and abroad, even traveling to Rome, Italy earlier this year to perform for Pope Francis at his New Year’s Day Mass.
At the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Valdosta Youth Council will be accepting donations from community members for the Mayor’s Holiday Gift Drive (view flier). VYC members will also host a table where attendees can sign greeting cards for military service members who are deployed during the holidays. These cards will be mailed with the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program in time for the holidays.
While enjoying the festivities, citizens may enjoy hot cocoa, hot apple cider and other light refreshments provided by the Valdosta Main Street office.
Citizens are encouraged to stay downtown after the Christmas Tree Lighting to enjoy the fun dining, shopping and entertainment experience of First Friday, through 9:30 p.m. This First Friday will also include the year’s final Art Walk, from 5 to 8 p.m., which allows attendees to experience the art in Downtown’s most elegant shops.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, citizens are invited back downtown to enjoy the annual Greater Valdosta Community Christmas Parade, which begins at 5 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 “Dreams of Christmas.”
For more information, contact Valdosta Main Street at 229-259-3577 or visit www.valdostamainstreet.com.