Rainy conditions weren’t enough to dampen the spirits of Flowery Branch residents who turned out by the hundreds on Saturday for the city’s fifth annual Christmas celebration.
“I think everything went great today except for the weather,” said event co-organizer Charlotte Cornett. “We saw over 200 kids and gave out all the goody bags. And Santa has been busy from the time he got here.”
The afternoon kicked off with a Christmas parade through the streets of downtown Flowery Branch. The fun just kept going as the hot chocolate flowed and s’mores were made throughout the day.
“It’s much larger (this year),” said Glenda Ricker, who was helping one of the vendors sell drinks and snacks. “And the parade was much bigger.”
It all led up to the lighting of the Flowery Branch Christmas tree next to the Historic Train Depot.
“Despite the rain, it’s been a good turnout,” Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller said. “It’s been a large crowd all day flowing through. It’s a lot of excitement.”
Prior to the tree lighting, the winner of the inaugural Ms. Flowery Branch competition was crowned. Janice Bryans, representing Calliope Sweets, received the crown for helping the business raise the most money for the Flowery Branch Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program.
Along with Bryans, Sue Kilgore represented Liberty Candy Co. in the friendly competition between the two downtown businesses. The two women raised $1,460 in the month of November.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to do this because of what it means,” Bryans said after being crowned. “It’s not about which one won; it’s about what it is for. The winner in this is the kid that gets the present, and the face that lights up and the eyes that twinkle. That’s the winner.”
In fact, the entire day was to help the police department’s Shop with a Cop program, which helps to provide Christmas presents for area children in need.
Some of the day’s silent auction items may also be featured on the department’s Facebook page over the next few days to continue to raise funds.
“It’ll just get bigger and better next year,” Cornett said.