Makayla Couch shivered in the chilly weather Saturday afternoon as she waited for Dawsonville's inaugural Christmas parade to begin.
"Parade, parade, I want to see a parade," the 2-year-old said as she clapped her hands and looked for the first floats to wind around the downtown square where she waited with her family.
Within minutes, a police siren rang out through the streets and kids darted for candy tossed out to them.
"Oh wow, the candy, we got so much candy, pockets full that we gave to the smaller kids," said 11-year-old Emily Coley. "The parade was so much fun. They've got to keep doing this every year."
Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan also wants to see the parade become a new local, holiday tradition.
"The parade was an absolute blast," he said. "Everyone was enthusiastic about it. I can't thank the people that participated enough.
"Thank you Dawsonville for turning out for the first annual Christmas parade. It will only be bigger and better next year."
Organized by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, the parade featured more than two dozen floats, groups and individual participants.
Awards were given in a variety of categories, with Etowah River Church of Christ's "Celebration of Family" float winning Best of Parade and The Norton Agency's Home for the Holidays with Santa as Most Creative.
Lexi Holloway, 11, came with her family and was the most excited about seeing Santa arrive by fire engine.
"It was great. I really enjoyed it. It was awesome," she said. "I loved seeing Santa ride in on the fire truck. That was my favorite."
Her mother, Susie Hollaway, said the entire family enjoyed the day.
"Actually, we don't always attend the city's tree lighting, so it was the parade that brought us out today," she said. "We really enjoyed it. It brings out the Christmas spirit."
The city's annual tree lighting followed at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex where kids visited with Santa, sipped cider and enjoyed live Christmas performances.