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Traditions old and new to usher holiday season in Flowery Branch
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A red caboose and tree light up the night at Flowery Branch's Christmas block party Dec. 18, 2021. - photo by John H. Grogan

It will soon begin to look a lot like Christmas in Flowery Branch as the city’s longtime holiday tradition returns with some new features.

Slated for 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 in the city’s downtown, the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree joins the lineup of the Christmas Wishes Holiday Festival to usher in the holiday season.

Christmas Wishes Holiday Festival 

What: Holiday gift market, parade and tree lighting

When: 2-8 p.m. Nov. 19

Where: Flowery Branch Train Depot, 5302 Railroad Ave., Flowery Branch

More info: branchblockparty.com

The event will host live carolers, food trucks, holiday gift market vendors, a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus, fireworks, live music and dance performances, along with a newly added Christmas Wishes Lantern Parade. 

“I've wanted to come to bring the lantern parade to our community for a long time, so it's exciting to see it finally happen,” said downtown events coordinator Renee Carden.

Attendees are encouraged  to decorate their own Chinese lantern to carry through the parade. Pre-made lanterns will also be available.

The lantern parade will start at Flowery Branch United Methodist Church, traveling along Church, Pine Street and Main streets led by the Flowery Branch High School marching band.

Santa, Mrs. Claus and Mayor Ed Asbridge will lead the countdown of lighting of the tree. 

“When we do our countdown and we get to the star, everything in the city is going to light up — it's going to be so beautiful and magical,” Carden said.

Inside the train depot, a “selfie world” experience will stage photo opportunities with different winter wonderland themes along with letters to Santa.

“Our goal from this is to create a sense of community and for families to be able to make memories,” said Carden. “This (festival) is a way for me to sprinkle a little joy. … My goal is to keep the tradition alive and to continue to make it better and better each year.”

With the ongoing construction in downtown Flowery Branch, Carden is determined to not let the construction efforts hamper the spirit of Christmas or business during the holidays.

“I’m working closely with our construction team to where it will not be a hindrance to our event or or to our businesses during the Christmas season, because that's the other thing that is so important,” Carden said.

For more information on the holiday festival and other upcoming events in Flowery Branch, visit branchblockparty.com.