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Gainesville lights up a holiday tradition

Christmas on Green Street set for Dec. 4

POSTED: December 1, 2011 12:30 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Beth Andert waves procession of antique cars drive down Green Street during last year's annual Christmas on Green Street presented by the Hall County Historical Society.

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Christmas is a magical time on the historic downtown section of Green Street in Gainesville.

Along with traditional holiday activities, business and houses along the stretch of town open their doors and give visitors a vivid history lesson on the old establishments during Christmas on Green Street.

Cheryl Vandiver, who is co-chairwoman of Christmas on Green Street and vice president for the North Georgia Community Foundation, said she remembers her first experience with the event years ago.

"I rode through one night and saw all the luminaries. The next year, I made it a point to find out what the event was all about," Vandiver said. "It's all about people celebrating the holidays, and it lets them know about the history of the street and the town.

"People always say ‘I never knew there was anything like this in town,' and they can't believe it's done for free."

This year's event is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Dec. 4. Festivities begin with luminaries being lit along the street at 5 p.m., which when the antique auto procession begins its route from the Civic Center.

Santa Claus will be in the parade, and will stop off at The Norton Agency to hear requests throughout the celebration.

At 6:30 p.m., the Rotary Christmas Tree will be lit, signifying the city's welcoming of Christmas.

Activities will include a strolling magician, face painting, home and business tours, and musical performances by the Brenau Chorus, Gainesville State College choir and groups from several other local schools.

Quinlan Visual Arts Center on Green Street will open its doors, inviting kids to participate in craft activities while adults enjoy the last day of the Member's Gallery.

Quinlan executive director Amanda McClure said that Quinlan and other sites along Green Street are getting excited for the holiday tradition.

"I love it that anyone who loves Christmas, Gainesville and Green Street can come out and see Green Street in its splendor," McClure said.

Green Street will be blocked off for the duration of the festivities. Participants are encouraged to park at either the Civic Center or the parking garage downtown.

Christmas on Green Street is free and open to the public, with fees charged only for buggy rides.



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