The crowds were light in number, but spirits were high as holiday revelers made their way through a soggy, cold Christmas on Green Street Sunday night.
“It’s a family tradition. We’ve always come out here,” said Brooke Green of Lula.
She and Brian Green and their 11-year-old daughter Abbie bundled up at their car as they waited for the parade, a highlight of the annual event, to start.
The weather wasn’t a factor for the Greens — and handfuls of others — as they watched the parade travel Green toward E.E. Butler Parkway at Academy Street, even as the light rain became a downpour.
“This is Germany. This is German weather,” said Andreas Engel, giving a quick assessment of the event.
“We read that there was something going (Sunday) and that there was a Christmas parade, so we wanted to check it out,” said his wife, Annika, holding their baby, 3-month-old Leander. “It’s interesting to us to see how Americans celebrate Christmastime.”
Andreas’ job with IMS Gear brought the family to the U.S. six months ago.
The Engels had stopped after the parade at The Times, which featured a free photo booth and a room where visitors could write letters to Santa Claus.
Gustavo and Perla Perez brought their daughter, 5-year-old Chloe, who said she especially enjoyed seeing the camel walking in the parade.
“We come every year, so we (can’t) miss it,” Perla Perez said.
Normally heavily traveled Green Street was closed to traffic for the event, so people could freely cross back and forth to visit historic homes lining the road.
“When this all started, it was for the people in the community to be able to come and be up close and see the homes,” said Martha Hodge of the Hall County Historical Society, which has sponsored the event for 15 years.
One of the popular attractions was at The Fudge Factory’s corporate offices, where Jason Young and Ryan Hornung demonstrated making fudge.
“Everybody repeat after me, ‘I love that fudge … and I will never go on a diet, so help me fudge,’” they said in a crowd participation moment.
Carol Krider Burkett, dressed in period costume, greeted people as they entered a white clapboard home housing law firms Gillsville Law and Ibrahim & RAO.
She said she enjoys the event, even though it seems to rain every time she participates.
“I love the people, the children,” she said. “It’s the season. It’s beautiful.”