Christmas parades provide a great way to gear up for the holiday season.
The city of Grovetown will lead off the celebration with its 36th annual parade at noon Saturday. The parade will run 1.6 miles along Robinson Avenue from Summerfield subdivision to the intersection of Wrightsboro Road, said parade organizer Laura McManus.
The parade, with nearly 70 entries, will include the CSRA Working Dog Club, the American Red Cross and the Fort Gordon Color Guard carrying the Grovetown city flag.
"They are also sending 15 members of each service branch," McManus said.
The parade, which will be led off by local historian Charles Lord, also features a variety of dancers, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, business and civic club entries, as well as the Grovetown High School marching band.
The festivities will continue at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, as the Columbia County Christmas Parade, put on by the Merchants Association of Columbia County, winds through Evans.
"To the best of my knowledge, we are the longest-running parade sponsored by the same group in the entire CSRA," said parade chairman Billy Franke. "This is our 46th consecutive year hosting the parade."
The parade, broadcast live on WRDW-TV, runs from Evans Town Center Boulevard at Evans-to-Locks Road to Washington Road and up North Belair Road to Bel Air Elementary School.
The more than 100 entries include the Soul City Sirens, Augusta's roller derby team, as well as dance groups, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, business and civic groups, animals such as horses and llamas, and high school JROTC groups and marching bands.
Santa will arrive on a fire truck.
"He will be arriving some time around two o'clock, just in time to get in the parade," Franke said.
The city of Harlem will continue the holiday festivities on Dec. 11 with its annual Christmas in the Heart of Downtown Harlem festival and Christmas parade.
The festivities, which run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., will feature live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and sidewalk sales at many downtown businesses.
Children can have breakfast with Santa at 8:30 or 9:45 a.m. at Red Oak Manor. Tickets cost $7 and can be purchased in advance from the bed and breakfast.
Photos with Santa and photo packages also will be available for purchase. For information, call Red Oak Manor at (706) 556-8222.
The parade will feature a variety of entries highlighted by Santa Claus at the end.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.