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Parade, tree lighting bring cheer to city
F6X6 Parade07

The City of Dawsonville and the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Saturday hosted the citys first Christmas parade.

We have never done this before, and theres very few cities that dont have a Christmas parade, Mayor James Grogan said. A parade brings the community together, and we thought it would be a great thing.

Twenty-six businesses and families decorated cars, trucks and tractors and walked or rode approximately one-half mile from the old cemetery to the Dawsonville Municipal Complex, where the mayor lit the citys Christmas tree.

Spectator Annie Moon, 89, sat in the Kangaroo parking lot bundled up against the cold with daughter, Nancy Gilbert.

Ive lived here since 1960, and weve never had a Christmas parade, she said. Im so excited. Its just wonderful.

In preparation, the city enlarged its Christmas tree display in front of city hall, and hoisted a new tree atop the old courthouse on the square.

Entertainment after the tree-lighting was provided by cloggers from Soul Impulse Studio, owned by Sarah Darby, a 2004 DCHS graduate. Members of the Grace Presbyterian Church choir sang hymns, and Santa was on hand for photographs.

This is a great turnout especially for the first year, longtime Dawson County resident Tony Arp said. Its going to get bigger and bigger, just like the moonshine festival.

Parade participants were judged in several categories. Winners included Best of Parade, Etowah River Church of Christ; Most Creative, The Norton Agency; Best in Class, Float, Etowah River Church of Christ; Vehicle, Atlanta Motorsports Park; Church, Reach Church, Walking Group, White Oak Learning Center.

We plan to do this every year from now on, Grogan said. I thought it was an absolutely great event.

Next year, the mayor said he hopes to have the DCHS marching band participate.

Chamber President Christie Haynes said she is looking forward to next years.

We were thrilled at the turn out and participation from the community in our first Christmas parade, she said. We have heard great positive feedback and hope that the event helped bring the spirit of the season to those in attendance. We look forward to continuing this new tradition and having even greater participation in the coming year.