You won’t have to stray out of the city limits of Dallas or Hiram to get your fill of the Christmas season next weekend.
The first of two big events begins Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. with the sixth-annual Christmas Tree Lighting event. A live Nativity, music from school groups and local artists, and horse and carriage rides are among the attractions featured at the event, which will run until 10 p.m.
“When Mayor Rollins took office, having a tree lighting and a Fourth of July event was very big as far as community events and bringing that into Hiram. Hiram had never done anything like that before,” said Cynthia Geyer, executive assistant at Hiram City Hall and coordinator of the event. “She initiated this event as well as all the other events Hiram currently does.”
Downtown businesses will remain open during the Christmas Tree Lighting, and families will be able to purchase tickets that will allow their children to take part in activities such as the moonwalk, slides and a train ride. Tickets will be $1 each or 25 for $20; local nonprofits will be selling them at the event and will split the money evenly at the end of the night.
“The city, we’re not making money—we’re just giving back to the community with the money that’s raised,” Geyer said.
Families also will be able to take pictures with Santa at $5 for one photo, or $10 for three copies of the same photo.
Attendees will have several parking options that will get them to the downtown event. On the northeast side of the city, event-goers can use the parking lots of , and the Ruritan area; two buses will be taking attendees to the event and back throughout the night. On the other side of the city, a large parking area will be available behind , with a bus there ready to shuttle those attendees to the railroad tracks right by the event.
Handicapped parking will be available at the .
The spirit of the holiday continues in Paulding the next day, as the Rotary Club of Paulding County Inc. and Paulding County Civitan Club Inc. puts on the 19th-annual Invitational Christmas Parade in downtown Dallas.
Though the annual occurrence will take place Saturday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m., new to the event this year will be live music from the gazebo on Main Street from 10 a.m. until the parade start; that portion of the festivities is being hosted by Flat Pickin Inc., Civitan President Jackie Crum says.
Visitors and participants are being asked to bring food donations for Helping Hands Inc.; collection bins will be in the downtown area. Parade proceeds are going to Paulding Christmas.
Crum says those looking to attend should be mindful of road closings, adding that parking is limited, so those hoping to park near the event should plan to arrive early and bring a chair.
About 75 entries are expected for the 1 p.m. parade, which typically draws 10,000 to 12,000 attendees, Crum said. Country music star Patty Loveless will serve as the Grand Marshall, leading parade participants from DC Bank to the old courthouse.
For more information on the Invitational Christmas Parade, call 770-329-4901 Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or email PauldingChristmasParade@yahoo.com.
For more information on Hiram’s Christmas Tree Lighting event and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit cityofhiramga.gov.