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Green Street gets merry

Annual holiday event features music, food and Santa

POSTED: December 14, 2007 5:03 a.m.

Thousands of people crowded the streets of downtown Gainesville Sunday evening for the seventh annual Christmas on Green Street celebration.

Presented by the Hall County Historical Society, the celebration featured a parade and a handful of open houses that included carolers, musicians, storytellers, carriage rides and other family fare.

During the parade, about 80 classic cars drove down Green Street, while Santa and The Grinch made appearances and waved to the children lining the streets. All of the drivers tossed candy to the families on the sidewalks.

Docents from The Newcomers Club manned each of the antique houses that line Green Street and presented oral histories of their respective homes. Santa Claus made his appearance at the Norton Agency house.

A face painter, Mandi Higginbotham, and a juggler, David Higginbotham, both set up shop at the Hare & Associates House.

Sunday marked the Higginbothams' fifth year at Christmas on Green Street, and they said they would not turn down the opportunity to come back next year. Music was no challenge for organizers, with choirs and bands from throughout Hall County performing on the porches of the Victorian homes.

The Salvation Army band and carolers performed at the Garner Hulsey House, and a few feet away the Chestatee Middle School band performed at the Parker Jackson House. A number of other youth choirs and school bands performed as well.

The Healing Arts Spa on Green Street played host to the North Hall Middle School Ensemble and storyteller Renee Hannah. Hannah performed "The Shoemaker and the Elves" for crowds throughout the evening.

The annual Christmas on Green Street is the brainchild of Judge William L. Norton Jr. and his wife, Adelaide Norton, who watched the crowds from their Green Street home. For Norton and fellow organizers, the event is a way to feature the many old and antique homes along Green Street.

Norton pointed to the many cars driving down Green Street Sunday and mentioned the various counties they were from. Each year, he hopes to give a "sense of ownership of the public toward these beautiful houses."



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