With a chill in the air and a distant sound of jingle bells chiming, it means that Christmas is once again upon Dawson County.
The 2019 holiday season kicks off in Dawsonville this weekend, with several events offering fun for the whole family.
On Friday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., Bethel Baptist Church will be hosting its first night of its annual Live Nativity scene. The program will also be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7.
It’s the 33rd annual live nativity program for the small congregation that celebrates the life of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the 40-acre woods where the nativity is staged, church volunteers will act out scenes that range from the birth of Jesus to the crucifixion, burial and resurrection as visitors view the spectacle from tractor-driven wagons.
More than 2,000 people visit the nativity each year, which takes the entire 150-member congregation to pull off. After the play, visitors are invited inside for hot soups and chili, sandwiches, drinks and other refreshments.
Wagons begin departing the church parking lot at 6 p.m. and stop at 9 p.m. Dress warmly and plan for a 45-minute ride. Admission is free. The church is located at 2659 Hwy. 136 West in Dawsonville.
From 8 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 7, Breakfast with Santa will be held inside the gyms at Rock Creek Park. Every year Santa Claus makes a special stop in Dawsonville to share a Chick-fil-A breakfast with local children which includes free activities and holiday fun for kids.
There will be free activities like ornament making, cookie decorating and face painting as well as goodie bags, candy, toys and prizes and an inflatable bounce house. Vendors will also be on site offering handcrafted items and decorations.
Santa photo packages will be available for purchase as well as tickets for the horse-drawn carriage rides and breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A. Organizers ask that guest bring cash only.
Proceeds from Breakfast with Santa benefit K.A.R.E. for Kids, a local nonprofit organization that provides Christmas to underprivileged children in the community as well as provides other assistance throughout the year.
Admission to Breakfast with Santa is free. For more information call the Dawson County Parks and Recreation at (706) 344-3646. The park is located at 445 Martin Road in Dawsonville.
From 10 a.m. to noon, the seniors at the Margie Weaver Senior Center will be hosting its Art by the Young at Heart event. It showcases the talented artists in the community who have taken art classes at the senior center. The art show is free to attend. The senior center is located at 201 Recreation Road next to Veterans Memorial Park.
Later Saturday afternoon, downtown Dawsonville will come alive as spectators line the streets to get the best views of the annual Christmas parade.
At 5 p.m., colorful floats will make their way through downtown, starting at Academy Ave., turning onto Hwy. 53 and ending at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.
Last year’s parade was cancelled due to inclement weather, but the forecast for Saturday, Dec. 7 shows only a 10 percent chance of rain for the day. For the best views, spectators grab their blankets and chairs and secure a spot along Hwy. 53 near Dairy Queen. It makes a great spot for walking down to the Jingle Market after the parade ends.
At the Dawsonville Municipal Complex and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, the annual Jingle Market will be in full swing beginning at 4 p.m. and the annual tree lighting will begin at dusk on Dec. 7.
There will be fun activities for the whole family, including music and dancing, food trucks free pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, face painting, hot cocoa and coffee.