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Season arrives
Tree lighting draws crowd
2 Tree Lighting pic1
Hundreds gathered Dec. 2 for the annual tree lighting event at city hall. The event featured Christmas carolers, cloggers and pictures with Santa Claus. - photo by Frank Reddy Dawson Community News

It’s hard to fake the Christmas spirit, according to Jason Kelley of Dawson County.


“Either you have it or you don’t,” said Kelley, joined by wife Barbara at the city’s annual tree lighting. “Dawsonville exudes Christmas cheer.”


Kelley was joined by hundreds of others Dec. 2 for the annual gathering at city hall, which featured Christmas carolers and cloggers.


Following the night’s entertainment, city officials lit a 26-foot-tall Christmas tree outside city hall.


Twenty-gallon containers of coffee and hot apple cider kept the group warm as it watched.


“It’s colder than anything out here,” said William Barnes of Dawson County, who came with his wife, Maria.


The two sipped hot cider together as they watched the young cloggers dance.


Tomiyo Williams and daughter Skye, 9, also enjoyed the festivities.


“We were really getting into the entertainment,” said Williams, who waited in line with her daughter to see Santa Claus inside city hall.


Dianne Smith and her grandson, Hunter Youngblood, also stood in line to see Santa.


Youngblood, 4, came to ask for a Nintendo DS for Christmas.


He was one of nearly 100 other children who got their pictures made with Santa Claus following the festivities.


Shena Arp brought her children, Blake, 4, and Chase, 2, to visit with St. Nick.


Arp said the family was “having a good time” at the gathering.


Mayor Joe Lane Cox said the Arps weren’t alone.


Cox said the event, which drew about 400 people, “went real good, and it was a good time.”


It’s no secret to Kelley why the crowd enjoyed themselves.


“It’s like a dream,” Kelley said. “Where else can you come out and sing Christmas carols, drink hot cider and be with the ones you love?


“Dawsonville is a unique city in that respect.”