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Rain dries up, chicken lights up at Jingle Mingle
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Fireworks light up the sky during the lighting of the chicken Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at the annual Jingle Mingle in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Lindsay Howard

The square was filled with crowds of people Saturday night as they awaited the lighting of the famous chicken.

Jingle Mingle was a hit despite the weather, and tons of people gathered together to ring in the holiday cheer.

Wonder filled children’s eyes as Santa arrived at 5 p.m. sharp on a bright red fire truck kicking off the event.

After his grand entrance, Santa went indoors to take pictures and listen to Christmas wishes of little ones. 

When asked what she said to Mrs. Claus, Kayla, 6, said, “She asked me if I was being good, and I said yes. I told her what I wanted for Christmas, too.”

From 5-7 p.m. visitors enjoyed carriage and train rides set up at either end of the square. Hot cocoa was being handed out in front of Atlas Pizza, along with other vendors scattered throughout the courtyard.

At 6:45 p.m., live music started in front of Main Street Market to get ready for the lighting of the chicken.

Local celebrity Andrew Jannakos, who was a contestant on “The Voice,” sang a few Christmas hits and got the crowd excited for the lighting. Then Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan welcomed the crowd and started the 10-second countdown.

At 7 p.m., the crowd went wild as the chicken was lit on top of Main Street Market and fireworks were shot off. 

Many people were worried about how the weather was going to affect the event, but the rain held off, and it didn’t get cold until later. 

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Santa visits with people Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at the annual Jingle Mingle in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Lindsay Howard
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