Downtown Tifton’s Hometown Holidays Celebration is upon us again this year with a sweet and tasty theme, “A Candy Cane Christmas.” The community can begin enjoying the downtown festivities today through Sunday and Tuesday, Dec. 7, with most of them kicking off immediately following the parade Saturday.
Fran Kinchen, Main Street promotions coordinator, advised that 12 blocks of Downtown Tifton will come alive with lights, carnival rides, Candy Cane Express to Fulwood Park’s Wonderland Tour of lights, holiday dance groups, musical groups, lighting of the Christmas tree at City Hall, the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association’s Playhouse Give-Away and an opportunity to take a photo with Santa and his reindeer at the North Pole. There will be entertainment, food and craft vendors and an opportunity to shop in some of the businesses that will be open during the celebration.
The scheduled events begin with Tifton Heritage Foundation’s Holiday Tour of Homes from 6 to 9 tonight. The cost is $15. Also, the Tifton Council of Garden Clubs' Hall of Trees and the Exchange Club Gingerbread Houses built by the Kids Advocacy Coalition will be at the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage. Friday’s events include the performance of “A Child is Born” at 7 p.m. at the Tift Theatre and the performance of “Re-Creation of Bethlehem” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Northside Baptist Church.
Visitors can expect plenty of exciting things to get involved with Saturday. The Rotary Club will be having “Breakfast with Santa” at the Leroy Rogers Senior Center from 8 to 11 a.m. You can get your picture made with Jolly Ole St. Nick. Tickets cost $4 for adults and $2 for children. Also, the Kiwanis Club Hometown Holiday 5K run and one mile run/walk is scheduled at 2 p.m.
The Christmas parade line-up is at 3 p.m. and all entries must check-in at the corner of Third and Magnolia. The parade starts at 5 p.m. This year’s route will start at Second and Magnolia, and then travel east on Second Street, left onto Love Avenue and will end at the corner of Eighth and Love Avenue. The drawing for CASA’s houses is at 7 p.m. at the courthouse. Pictures with Santa will be available at 7 p.m. at Tifton Gardens.
Immediately following the parade is the grand finale. On stage in front of City Hall, there will be lighting of the Christmas tree at 6:45 p.m., Kristan Ballenger at 7:15 p.m., Tift County High School’s Ladies' Choice Choir at 8 p.m., Eighth Street Singing Company at 8:20 p.m. and Church Without Walls Outreach Ministries at 8:30 p.m. There will be dancers from Carolyn Ellis School of Dance on stage at 7 p.m. at the Tift Theatre, dancers from Peyton Pointed Toes Dance Group on stage at 7 p.m. at Veterans’ Park along with First Baptist Church hand bells and music.
Shoppers can take advantage of savings Sunday at participating merchants on Main Street and Love and Tift avenues. The event “Ladies Night Out” has extended hours to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7. Tifton Merchants Association sponsors this event. They invite visitors to stop by and visit their local merchants and stock up on all their Christmas needs. Participating merchants will be offering beverages, refreshments and treats.
Businesses and agencies open for shopping are the African American Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Association on Third Street, Annie’s Place on Love Avenue, “At Home on 12th,” Between Friends on Main Street, Cakes by Audrey on Main Street, Central Jewelers on Main Street, Classic Art & Frame on Third Street, Encore Consignment Boutique on Main Street, eZeeCopy-Mailboxes-Printing-Packing-Shipping on Main Street, Glynn Hendricks Interiors-The Floor Shop on Love Avenue, Guy’s Drugstore on Main Street, High Cotton on Love Avenue, Indulgence Boutique on Love Avenue, J & J Weight Room on Third Street, Klassy Kidz on Main Street, My BFF’s Closet on Main Street, Roberts & Company Jewelers on Love Avenue, Second Chance on Third Street, Second Plus on Main Street, Traditions on 12th Street and The Big Store on Main Street. Restaurants that will be open are Giggles on Main Street, Shady Lane on Main Street, Harpers i n the Myon on First Street and Three Graces Manor on Love Avenue.
For additional information on the celebration, contact Kinchen at 556-7439 or visit the website, www.tifton.net.
To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.