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Posted: November 29, 2012 7:10 p.m.

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Social Circle to kick off Christmas

Social Circle is kicking off its Christmas season with the annual Lighting of the Tree ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at city hall, 166 N. Cherokee Road.

In addition to the lighting of the city's tree, children and adult choirs will sing Christmas carols and judges will announce the winner of the house decorating contest involving the homes on Holly and Dogwood streets.

The judges will ride along with children in a hayride as they tour the houses and use the children's reactions as part of the criteria to determine which home has the best decorations, said Better Hometown Director Mike Miller. The winner will get a $50 gift card to Freshway Market.

The event will also feature a hayride, as well as roasted marshmallows provided by the city fire department and hot beverages provided by the local Boy Scout Troop and Clearview Regional Medical Center.

For the first time in the event's history, an actual planted tree in front of city hall has been decorated; the tree was planted last year as part of an Arbor Day program. The tree is starting out small, around 12 feet to 14 feet in size, but it's expected to grow into a majestic 25 foot tree eventually, said Miller.

"City hall makes for a spectacular backdrop; it's a great place to be a part of the Christmas season," Miller said.

The children's choir of First Baptist Church will sing "Celebrate the Birthday" and "The Light has Come," while the a combined adult choir from various churches will sing "Jingle Bells," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Deck the Halls," "Away in a Manger," and "Silent Night." Finally, at the end of the night, there will be two audience sing-a-long songs, "Joy to the World," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

The event will be kicked off by the Social Circle High School marching band playing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," at which point the band will escort Santa on a fire truck to the front of city hall.

"The kids love seeing the band, fire department and Santa all together," said Miller, noting that was his favorite moment as well.

In addition to the house decorating contest, which is new this year, there will also be a decorating contest for the windows of the downtown merchants. The winner of that contest will be announced at the Dec. 11 merchant's coffee call. The winner gets a $100 cash prize, while second place gets $50 in cash and third place gets $25 in cash.

Though the timing may be unfortunate as the Alabama versus Georgia football game starts at 3 p.m., Miller said the city is trying to keep the event shorter this year. He said the whole event should last about an hour.

First Baptist Church, Atlanta Arms & Ammo, ADF, Dawson Lodge #68 and Standridge Color all donated to the tree lighting.


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