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Green Street Christmas parade adds new touch
Santa and Mrs. Claus to make appearance
Ken Hale, left, works on tires Friday that will become a Christmas tree while La Sha Ackerman, center, and Kelly Nabb stack wrapped boxes as they prepare the 5 Star Auto Sales float for Sunday’s Christmas on Green Street parade. - photo by Tom Reed

Christmas on Green Street

When: 5-7:15 p.m. Sunday
Where: Green Street, Gainesville

The 12th annual Christmas on Green Street parade is making an addition to its traditional procession this year.

The parade will include seven Christmas-themed floats accompanying the classic and antique cars.

The parade is presented by the Hall County Historical Society and will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday. Green Street will be closed from 4-8 p.m. for the event.

“The addition of floats will involve the community more. It will add another dimension to Christmas on Green Street, which is already a classic event in Gainesville,” said Fox Gradin, float organizer and Christmas on Green Street committee member.

She said she hopes the parade will continue to grow and become a “new, exciting and refreshing” tradition.

Olaf Gradin, Cub Master for Cub Scouts Pack 262 and Fox Gradin’s husband, said having the floats in the parade is “a game changer.”

“You’ll get to see a lot of creativity and ingenuity. Having the floats opens up a lot of opportunity for people to get into this parade and make it a world-class parade,” he said. “Everyone has seen one of those and we want Gainesville’s to be just as great.”

The Scouts will make their Green Street parade float debut elevated from a “larger than life” Christmas Present complete with bows and ribbon.

Other themes include a whimsical snow fairy, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Chinese lions.

Ken Hale and his co-workers at 5 Star Auto Sales have been working to recreate Whoville, from Dr. Seuss’s famous Christmas story.

The float will feature a Christmas tree made of green painted tires and lots of little “whos.” Hale will be dressed as the infamous Grinch.

“It’s been fun making the float but I think the most fun so far has been making the costumes,” Hale said laughing.

Gary Lee, owner of Tiger and Dragon Kung Fu School, said he thinks the crowd will be pleased with the school’s float display of colorful Chinese lions. After the parade, the group will perform the Lion Dance, which Lee said is sure to please.

The parade also will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus. Historic homes along Green Street will feature holiday music performances, there will be other children’s activities and the Rotary Christmas Tree lighting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the end of the parade route.

“Of course we want to see a tremendous amount of support from the community and we want their feedback, good or bad, because we want this to get bigger and better every year,” Olaf Gradin said.

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