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Braselton welcomes Christmas
Town lights its tree, decorates its square for the holidays
The Christmas tree in front of the Braselton Antique Mall was decorated Thursday afternoon by members of the Braselton Rotary Club and a two-man crew from Jackson EMC to get to the top branches of the tree. The Rotary began the tradition of lighting the tree about five years ago, according to club member Martha Martin. - photo by Claire Miller
The Christmas tree in front of the Braselton Antique Mall welcomes all who drive through Braselton on Ga. 53 every year as they drive through town.

It stands almost as tall as the building itself, decorated by the Braselton Rotary Club with red bows, silver and red baubles and strings of colored lights that were officially lit for all to see Saturday evening during the second weekend of the Celebrate the Holidays in Braselton festivities.

Bleachers were set up in the parking lot of the Braselton Antique Mall, where several dozen people came to enjoy a selection of Christmas tunes from three different sets of performers.

The activities began with an introduction from Braselton mayor-elect Bill Orr on behalf of the Rotary Club and the entire event was emceed by Ryan Langford, director of the newly-created Braselton Community Choir.

“This is the result of rehearsing every Tuesday night since September, which is a little early for Christmas,” Langford said.

The choir, dressed in matching white button-down shirts and black pants, performed some lesser-known Christmas songs, such as “Christmas Waltz,” “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth” and a mash-up of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

“We’re an eclectic group. That was our solemn piece, and now we go to Dr. Seuss’ ‘Welcome Christmas,’” a song from the animated classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Langford said.

Before the tree could be lit, ornaments made by local businesses from Stonewall’s Barbeque, Sonia’s Cleaning Service and the Braselton Women’s Club, among others, were placed on the tree.

Attendees also heard Hailey Smith, one of the contestants in the Hoschton Talent Stampede in September, perform three Christmas songs on her harp: “Sheep May Safely Graze,” “The First Noel” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

She was followed by Galilee Christian Church’s hand bell choir, who played a number of bronze bells for all to hear.

But the main event came at the very end when the croud sang “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells” before 6-year-old Hoschton resident Jackson Austin plugged in the Christmas tree to thunderous applause.

Residents passing by the Braselton Antique Mall between now and Christmas Day will see the decorated tree stand as a beacon, reminding all of the coming of the holiday season.