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Dawsonville celebrates Christmas with market, parade and tree lighting
Christmas Events pic 1
Girl Scout troop 17329 waved to the crowd during the fifth annual Christmas parade. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Dawsonville celebrated the start of the holiday season with its annual Christmas festivities Dec. 2. The Jingle Market saw many local craftsmen and artisans selling their unique items at the Dawson County Municipal Complex.

Annie Sue Chester
Annie Sue Chester shows off her handmade wreaths at the Jingle Market. Chester said she and her granddaughter, Cassidy, began making wreaths to raise money for her college fund. Three years later, the pair still love making Christmas wreaths. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Free hot chocolate and coffee was provided by Dawsonville Pool Room, one of the event’s sponsors. Mountain Lake Church donated their time and sound system so the crowd could enjoy the holiday spirit with some Christmas music.

Callie Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever puppy Callie, 5 months old, was so excited to help Mountain Lake Church with their sound system. With holiday music playing, Callie couldn’t help but dance. - photo by Jessica Taylor

With the streets lined with anxious spectators, the fifth annual Christmas parade began without a hitch. Heading the parade was Dawson County Emergency Services and the sheriff’s office.

Lined streets at parade
Eager spectators lined the road half an hour prior to the start of the parade to ensure they got good seats for the 5th annual event. - photo by Jessica Taylor

firetruck at parade
Heading the parade was the firetruck from Dawson County Fire Department. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Footprints Dance Allegiance
Footprints Dance Allegiance showed off one of their dance routines while walking through the parade Dec. 2. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Mr and Miss Dawson County 2017
Mr. and Miss Dawson County 2017 made an appearance at the end of the Christmas parade. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Santa and Mrs. Claus were the big finale of the parade. After they waved to all the children, parade spectators made their way back to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame for the tree lighting.

santa claus parade 2017
Santa and Mrs. Claus were the big finally of the parade. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Haynes announced the winners of the parade awards as everyone gathered around near the tree. This year, there were 37 entries, the biggest parade yet.

Harmony Baptist Church took home Best of Parade for their impressive Gingerbread house float.

KG Cleaning Solutions won the Most Creative award for their superhero themed float. They also had the largest number of people in their group.

KG Cleaning Solution parade float
Tiny superheroes from the KG Cleaning Solution group tossed out candy from their float. KG Cleaning Solution brought the largest group to the parade and also took home the award for “Most Creative” for their superhero theme. - photo by Jessica Taylor

There were four Best in Class awards, broken down into the different modes of transportation. The Dawson County Rotary Club took home the award for best float. The best walking group went to Cornerstone Schools whose band performed throughout the parade. Circle D Farms won for best tractor and Northstar Bicycle won best bikes/car.

Northstar Cycles
Members of Northstar Cycles threw out candy to very excited children. Northstar Cycles took home the award for best in the bike/car class during the 5th annual Dawsonville Christmas parade. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Conrerstone schools band
Students from Cornerstone marched through the parade and played music. Cornerstone took home the award for best walking group. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Haynes said this year was the biggest turnout for the parade and tree lighting.

City Councilman Jason Power welcomed everyone to the night’s festivities and. He encouraged everyone to “appreciate each other, love each other and enjoy ourselves” and to remember the first Christmas.

tree lighting
The Christmas tree in front of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame was lit Dec. 2 and signaled the beginning of the Christmas season in Dawsonville. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Everyone anticipated the tree lighting ceremony. After the countdown led by Power, the tree in downtown Dawsonville was lit and met with cheers and applause from the crowd, marking the beginning of the holiday season.