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Jingle Mingle: Holiday fun, shopping and a dancing chicken
Downtown Gainesville event launches Christmas season Nov. 17
Santa holds Alex Pekich during a recent Jingle Mingle on the downtown Gainesville square.

Jingle Mingle

When: 5-8 p.m. Nov. 17

Where: Downtown Gainesville square

How much: Free

It may only be November, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in some parts of Gainesville.

The merchants around the downtown square are all gearing up for the annual Jingle Mingle, presented by Main Street Gainesville and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

The event from 5 to 8 tonight will include lots of holiday treats, including food, drinks and extended shopping hours.

"Singers from Fifth Row Center (in Flowery Branch) will be caroling around the square and the Believers Concert Band from Gainesville First United Methodist Church will be performing in the Main Street Market," said Angela Thompson, Main Street program manager.

"The Believers will be playing lots of Christmas tunes. And at 7 p.m., they'll play the Chicken Dance for the official lighting of the Christmas Chicken on top of Main Street Market.

"There will even be dancing chicken."

The Chicken Dance festivities are going to become a new, Jingle Mingle tradition, Thompson says.

Other traditions like rides on the kiddie train and the Mingle with Kringle photo opportunity with Santa will also be available this year.

For $15, parents will be able to purchase a disc with pictures of their child with Santa.

"We'll also have a space set up so kids can write letters to Santa and mail them to the North Pole," Thompson said.

If you miss the photo opportunity today, Mingle with Kringle will continue inside Main Street Market, 118 Main St. in Gainesville, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.

Although there's no charge to attend, visitors are encouraged to stop in Frames You-Nique, 104 Main St., and make a suggested $1 donation for Meals on Wheels.

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