Local Christmas Parade kicks off holiday season in Columbia County


EVANS, G.A. (WJBF) – The holiday cheer is spreading throughout Columbia County. Organizers hosted the annual Christmas Parade at Evans Towne Center Park.

Hundreds of people lined up along Evans Town Center Road for the annual Christmas Parade and tree lighting.

“This is about the 10th year we’ve done it. So, it’s just kind of evolved over the years, but we’ve been doing it, I think it started when the park opened,” said Janet Wheatley, a coordinator for the event.

And this time around there were some new additions, including the Evans on Ice Skating Rink, which was a big hit for the kids.

“I was sliding, then I kept on falling,” said 9-year-old Kaiden Morris.

But a photo with Santa was the main attraction.

“This year we just have more people out, more things available. I think people are just more comfortable coming out,” said Wheatley.

Despite reports of a new variant surfacing in several states, most people at the parade say they felt comfortable being a part of the crowd.

“We feel pretty good being out here in the open, and we still see the six foot markers and we try to keep our distance and enjoy ourselves at the same time,” said Mark Morin.

This is Mark Morin’s first year attending the Christmas parade and festival. While he and his wife are fully vaccinated, they’re still taking precautions.

Morin says, “We’re never completely safe. We like to keep the rules and the guidelines that have come to be over the past year in mind, but we feel that the risk is worth the event.”

“It feels very normal now,” said Alex Cooper.

Alex Cooper says it’s just nice seeing people come together again.

“Of course I do listen to the local news and stuff to see if there’s any kind of big outbreaks. Which will give me more information if I did want to go out, to be a little bit safer,” he said.

The parade featured appearances from local school bands, organizations, and community leaders. Organizers wrapped up the evening with the traditional tree lighting ceremony and fireworks.

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