Thomson's sixth annual Festival Off Main is just around the corner, and just in time to spark the Christmas spirit.
"There's no way anyone can come to this festival this year that they can't find something they want," said Johnette Bell, who organizes the vendors. "We have everything from apple pies to zebra bags."
Bell said there will be 129 vendors, including food vendors ranging from "Greek food to hot dogs." And all the children's rides will be free this year, except the live pony rides.
The festivities start Thursday with the tree lighting ceremony in front of the Depot on Main Street. Thomson Mayor Ken Usry will light the tree at 6 p.m., and 128 children from local schools will sing at 6:15 p.m.
Visits with Santa will begin at 6:45 p.m. Thursday in the Depot, and parents may bring cameras. At the same time, a chili cook-off will take place in the Depot Annex. Registration forms for the cook-off are available on the Festival Off Main Web site or at the Chamber of Commerce.
Organizer Dianne Landers said two prizes will be awarded: People's Choice and Best Chili. Landers said chili chefs may sell their chili. The Thomson City Fire Department also will be selling chili, along with grilled hot dogs and hamburgers that evening.
The festivities continue at 9 a.m. Saturday with the annual Depot Dash 5k run, and the arts and crafts festival in the Depot parking lot. Registration forms for the Depot Dash are available on the festival Web site or from the Thomson Family Y.
Children can enjoy breakfast with Santa at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Depot. Tickets cost $10 and must be purchased in advance at the Chamber of Commerce. Only two adult tickets per family will be allowed.
The Holiday Tour of Homes begins at 5:30 p.m. that evening. This year's tour features eight homes within walking distance in downtown Thomson. Transportation will be provided for those unable to walk the route. Tickets for the tour, which include refreshments, cost $20 and are available from the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce.
Thomson's Christmas parade will take place Sunday at 3 p.m.
For information, visit www.festivaloffmain.com, or call the Chamber of Commerce at (706) 597-1000.
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