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Family events
For the week of Dec. 2-8
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This week

Downtown Christmas Parade of Lights, Athens. More than 60 floats, bands and other groups. Tree lighting ceremony at end of parade route. 7 p.m. today, begins at the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets and ends in front of City Hall, downtown Athens.

Banks County Christmas Festival, Homer. Handmade crafts, gifts and food. Friday-Saturday, 106 Yonah Homer Road, Homer. 706-677-2108 or

Festival of the Nativity, Gainesville. More than 500 nativity scenes on display, refreshments. 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Sunday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1234 Riverside Dr., Gainesville. Free.

"Deck the Halls," Helen. Create holiday ornaments and crafts. Gingerbread houses on display. Hayride, photos with Santa, concert featuring the Weaver Believer Survival Revival. Saturday: activities, 3-5 p.m.; concert, 6 p.m., Unicoi State Park, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen. Free. 800-573-9659, ext. 305.

Troop 219 Breakfast with Santa, Gillsville. Crafts, photo with Santa. Benefits Boy Scout Troop 219. 8-10 a.m. Saturday, 6079 Ga. 52, Gillsville. Free for breakfast, one photo with Santa and crafts. Donations accepted. Additional photos may be purchased.

Christmas Festival and Kids' Jingle Bell Roll 'n Stroll, Flowery Branch. Raggedy Ann and Andy, storytellers, crafts and carolers. Saturday: Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m., First United Methodist Church, 5212 Church St., Flowery Branch. Free with canned good donation; Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. behind Main St. Depot; Roll n' Stroll line-up, 11:30 a.m., begins at the First United Methodist Church parking lot. Bring your decorated bikes, tricycles, wagons and strollers. Roll 'n Stroll, noon, Main St. Vendors, call 678-316-0465; Breakfast with Santa, 770-231-3383. Other questions, 678-570-3481.

Christmas Crafts Bazaar, Gainesville. Books, food, clothing and handmade crafts. Accepting vendors. Raffle. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Unity of Gainesville Church, 3361 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville. $20 to rent a table. 770-534-0949.

Cookies with Santa, Gainesville. 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Liberty Bible Church, 5635 Stephens Road, Gainesville. $5 includes photo with Santa. Benefits Relay for Life. 770-535-0179.

A Civil War Holday at McDaniel Farm, Duluth. Engage in a drill with "Civil War soldiers," visit their camp site and make traditional ornaments. Learn about the McDaniel family. Featuring a visit by Father Christmas and caroling. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, McDaniel Farm, 3251 McDaniel Farm Road, Duluth. $5. 770-814-4920.

GHS Theatre Friends Christmas Tour of Homes, Gainesville. 1-5 p.m. Sunday, various Gainesville homes. 770-654-0758 or 770-533-2748, $20. Tickets also available at the door of each home the day of the tour and at the Gainesville High School lobby, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Friday.

Christmas on Green Street, Gainesville. Hall County Historical Society. Docents in period costumes tell the history of each Green St. home, some of which are open. Christmas carolers, including some from area schools and churches, will perform on porches. Storyteller, magician, face painter, balloon artist, miniature train ride and carriage ride. Parade led by Santa Claus, 5 p.m., and Rotary Christmas Tree lighting at 7 p.m. Event begins at 5 and continues until 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Green St. from Rotary Christmas Tree to First Baptist Church, Gainesville. $2 per person for carriage ride, or no more than $10 per family. All other events are free. 770-503-1319.


Christmas Tree Lighting, Blairsville. Santa Claus, hot chocolate, cider and cookies; hayrides, bonfires and the lighting of a live 30-foot blue spruce. Bring a blanket and chair. 4-6:45 p.m. Dec. 11, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Road, Blairsville. Admission is one unwrapped gift for a child age 0-12. No toy guns, knives or dangerous items. Benefits the Give-A-Gift toy drive of the Union County Sherrif's Department. 706-745-2628.

Nacoochee Village Christmas, Helen. Live music, hot chocolate, snacks and photos with Santa. Prize drawing. Noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 11, Nacoochee Village, 7272 S. Main St., Helen. Free. 706-878-1234.

Breakfast with Santa, Cumming. Santa will arrive by helicopter. Photo and goody bag. 8 and 9:30 a.m. Dec. 11, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 3740 Holtzclaw Road, Cumming. $6 adults, $4 kids, $1 age 1 and younger. 770-887-9861, ext. 21.


Story times, Hall County. Children can listen to stories, sometimes read by special guests. Various days and times at libraries in the Hall County Library System. Free.

"Waters of Time: The Chicopee Woods Story," Gainesville. Learn about previous eras and inhabitants of Chicopee Woods. 10 a.m. to p.m. Monday-Saturdays. Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. $5 adults, $3 children age 2-12; age 1 and younger and members free. 770-535-1976.

Festival of Trees, Helen. Bid on trees and wreaths decorated by residents and business owners. Through Dec. 10, Unicoi State Park, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen. Free. 800-573-9659, ext. 305.

 Photos with Santa, Buford. Through Dec. 24. Santa available daily. Hours and prices vary. Nordstrom Court, Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. 678-482-8788.