Beginning this month, holiday festivities will light up the communities on Lake Lanier and mountain towns in the headwaters. Parades, Santa visits, tree lightings, snow tubing, and Victorian Christmas re-enactments are among the offerings in Christmas celebrations throughout the region.
Here’s a sample:
Nov 19th – Jingle Mingle, Gainesville. Annual “Lighting of the Chicken” event to begin the holidays, includes carriage rides, live music, kiddie train rides, and Santa’s arrival on fire engine, 4-8 p.m. Nov. 19, Downtown Square. www.exploregainesville.org.
Nov 19th – Celebrate the Holidays, Braselton. Parade, tree lighting and more, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 19, Downtown Braselton. www.braselton.net.
Nov 19th – Christmas Tree Lighting/Block Party, Flowery Branch. Tree lighting ceremony, Santa visits, kids’ activities, music, vendors, tentative Christmas parade, 2-8 p.m. Nov. 19, Downtown Flowery Branch, 5302 Railroad St. branchblockparty.com.
Nov 19th – Dawsonville Christmas Parade/Tree Lighting. Downtown parade, live music, dancing, cookie decorating, food trucks and more, 4-8 p.m. Nov. 19, Downtown Dawsonville/ Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, 415 Ga. Hwy 53. dawsonville-ga.gov.
Nov 19th – Feb 26th – License to Chill Snow Island/Lakeside Lights Spectacular, Buford. Snow tubing, ice skating, carnival rides, s’more making, plus walk-through holiday light extravaganza with festive music; Snow Island 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 19-Feb. 26, Lights Spectacular 5-9 p.m. Nov. 19-Jan. 16, Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, 7650 Lanier Islands Pkwy. Various prices. www.margaritavilleresorts.com.
Nov 25th – Lighting of the Village, Helen. Holiday lighting celebration with Santa’s arrival, choral groups and more, 5-7 p.m. Nov. 25, Riverside Village, 1074 Edelweiss Strauss. www.helenga.org.
Nov 26th – Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting, Clermont. Small town holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 26, Main Street. www.clermontga.com.
Nov 26th – Dec 31st – Old Fashioned Christmas, Dahlonega. Annual holiday festival begins with Lighting of the Square celebration with live music and activities Nov. 26; downtown tree lighting at 6 p.m. Holiday events include Festival of Trees beginning Dec. 3 at Hancock Park, Christmas Parade Dec. 10, carriage rides, Santa visits, live music and more through Dec. 31. Downtown Dahlonega. www.dahlonegachristmas.com.
Nov 26th – Dec 31st – Wilshire Wonderland of Lights, Gainesville. Walk through beloved Wilshire Trails Park decorated with holiday lights, Nov. 26-Dec. 31. Free. www.exploregainesville.org.
Nov 29th – Jan 1st – Holiday Tree Trail, Gainesville. Local businesses, families and organizations decorate and display holiday trees with nature-based themes, Nov. 29-Jan. 1, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. Garden admission. www.atlantabg.org, 404-888-4760.
Dec 3rd – 17th – Victorian Christmas at Hardman Farm, Sautee Nacoochee. See historic farm mansion decorated in 1877 holiday style, learn about Victorian holiday traditions from reenactors in traditional holiday attire, plus live music, cookies, s’mores around the campfire, 4-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 3-17, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. Registration required. $20 adults, $15 ages 6-17, free to children 5 and younger, $45 family rate 2 adults with children younger than 17. www.gastateparks.org, 706-878-1077.
Dec 3rd – Christmas at the Gorge, Tallulah Falls. See Santa, make crafts, enjoy holiday music, eat a snack, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 3, Tallulah Falls State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr. $5 parking. www.gastateparks.org, 706-754-7981.
Dec 3rd – Christmas Parade & Festival, Cumming. Parade on Tribble Gap Rd. from Forsyth Central High School to Cumming Fairgrounds, followed by tree lighting, vendors, crafts, Santa visits and more, parade 5 p.m., festival 6-8 p.m. Dec. 3, Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd. cummingfair.squarespace.com.
Dec 3rd – Christmas in the Mountains Festival & Lighted Parade, Cleveland. Parade, open houses, market on downtown square, Cleveland County Courthouse, 5 p.m. Dec. 3, intersection Ga. 129/115.
Dec 4th – Christmas on Green Street, Gainesville. Annual Christmas parade, tours of historic homes, strolling magicians, Santa’s arrival, musical groups performing on front porches, food trucks, mini-train rides, and tree lighting; begins with Christmas at the Civic Center 2 p.m., 4 p.m. parade, tree lighting 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Parade on Green Street from Civic Center to West Academy St.; tree lighting at intersection of West Academy/Green St. www.gainesville.org.