Electricity fueled holiday cheer across Columbia County last week with three different Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies.
Bubba Claus, Santa Claus' Southern cousin, began the activities at Columbia County's Christmas tree-lighting Saturday at the Columbia County Justice Center.
Bubba blew the air horn, starting the Columbia County Santa Run, a 1-mile and 2-mile race around the Justice Center and Doctors Hospital field, in which runners of all ages competed for trophies and gift certificates.
The Christmas in America lighting ceremony featured several school music groups, the Vineyard Church Worship Team leading an audience sing-a-long and more.
"I think this event is a great example of the quality of life we always talk about in Columbia County," Columbia County Commissioner Diane Ford said. "It's a great family event that celebrates the holiday spirit."
Barry Davis and his daughters Lauren, 6, and Nelson, 2, enjoy the Grovetown lights after the Christmas Tree lighting ceremont.
12/05/03 Jim Blaylock NEWS-TIMES
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The honorary tree-lighter for the ceremony was Sheri Christine, wife of U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Bobby Christine. Mr. Christine is an assistant district attorney in Columbia County who has been serving with the Army in Iraq and Kuwait.
Freezing temperatures and misting rain earlier in the week did not deter Harlem residents from gathering for the city's annual tree-lighting ceremony Thursday at City Hall.
Susan Rogers held a cup of hot chocolate while watching her daughter, Mandy, perform Christmas tunes in the Harlem Middle School band.
"It's Christmas, and this is what we do," Rogers said.
To stay warm, children danced to the band's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree until Miss City of Harlem 2004 Whitney Walker flipped a switch, illuminating the city's tree.
Children later huddled in Santa's lap to explain how good they were all year.
Though it was slightly warmer for Grovetown's tree-lighting Friday, a chilly wind did not stop many residents from turning out to watch Santa light up the corner of Robinson Avenue and Old Wrightsboro Road.
"It doesn't matter what the weather is like, there is usually a large turnout," said Tony Arnold, a newly elected Grovetown City Council member.
Emilio Diaz, 16, of Evans High School's JROTC, prepares to raise the flag at Columbia County's Christmas in America tree-lighting ceremony at the Columbia County Justice Center.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Sherri Christine (front), with her children Angelina, 3, Maggie, 4, and Peter, 11 months, speaks before lighting Columbia County tree Saturday. Also lighting the tree was Columbia County Fair Queen Jessica Callan.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
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