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Christmas on Green Street brings feelings of nostalgia
Parade, tour of historic homes part of festivities
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Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus make their entrance on a fire truck during the 2015 Christmas on Green Street in Gainesville . - photo by Erin O. Smith

Nostalgia was in abundance Sunday night as Christmas on Green Street offered carolers, hand bell choirs, hosts in period costume and The Salvation Army band playing holiday favorites.

And, of course, plenty of century-old homes open for inspection.

“It’s all neat,” said Elizabeth Adams of Gainesville. “I’ve always loved this street anyway. The houses are beautiful. It’s just nice to be able to check it all out and see all the stuff going on.

“It’s Christmasy.”

The Hall County Historical Society sponsors the event every year on the first Sunday in December.

And it usually draws a crowd. This year was no different, as people streamed between brightly decorated houses, sipping on hot chocolate, munching on cookies and fudge samples and — as in Adams’ case — snapping photos of the homes.

Her son, 10-year-old Adam Townsend, said he particularly liked the parade. “And all the cool cars,” his mother added.

Festivities began with the parade, which featured Santa Claus riding on a fire engine, a juggler and other attractions.

“Mitchell likes a lot of the cars, the fire trucks and anything with an engine,” Cumming resident Ryan Bales said of his 2-year-old son.

“It’s something to see and do,” said Bales, also joined by his wife, Julie.

The family had their evening mapped out — somewhat. They planned to walk up and down the street, maybe check out a magician, then “probably head home and get to bed before it gets too late,” Ryan Bales said.

The event also featured a live nativity, carriage rides, face painters and do-it-yourself Christmas ornaments for children at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.

Volunteers shared the history of the homes while dressed in clothing appropriate to the era the homes were built.

Also, The Times featured a miniature train running in the parking lot for children, while inside, families and friends posed for pictures at the photo booth and watched the press run through viewing windows.

For The Salvation Army band, performing at The Norton Agency, Sunday night was another stop in a busy Christmas season.

“This is a great, great event, and the weather is awesome,” said Lt. Arnaldo Pena, who leads the local chapter.

Pena’s son, 10-year-old Jonathan, also said he enjoyed the event.

“On a scale of 1-10, I’d rate it a 9.5,” he said.