Saturday in Blue Ridge offered fun for all ages

~ By Elaine Owen, Editor ~
Saturday came early with a sunrise that was breathtaking in the mountains. The weather was a bit chilly, but until the sun went down, a light jacket was enough for the Light Up Blue Ridge holiday celebration.
For many, the day began with the arrival of Santa on the train from up north on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. He was surrounded by children of all ages and accompanied to downtown city park where he listened to their wishes and smiled for the cameras. On that day, at least, he was the most photographed person ever in Blue Ridge.
Decorative storefronts up and down the streets welcomed shoppers as part of the annual Storefront Decorating Contest. Many shoppers left toting bags and boxes to Pruitt Health’s train was a main attraction. make for happy people, come Christmas Day!
As the magic hour of 5:30 (when the Christmas Parade was to begin) approached, people began lining the streets, waiting to see the floats lined up beginning ‘way past First Baptist Church.
State Senator Steve Gooch, escorted by Fire Chief Larry Thomas, was there with his family. He stopped just a moment to greet the Fannin Sentinel and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
The crowd now stood 5-persons deep on both sides of Main Street. Children of all ages were ready with bags and pouches for the candy they knew would be tossed their way. They were not disappointed as one little boy, grinning ear-to-ear, who said his name is Brady, showed us a bag of candy that must have weighed three pounds!
Blue Ridge Police Chief Johnny Scearce led the parade, followed by Mayor Donna Whitener, driven by Veteran Bob Renneke and accompanied by her two grandchildren and their little friend Ada.
City Councilwoman Rhonda Thomas and newly elected Councilwoman Robbie Cornelius followed.
The North Georgia Honor Guard was there. Greg Coffone drove with Memorial Lady Thelma Coffone and other Guard members Dennis Rich, Richard Crosley and Ron Wallace.
All the service flags were in the back.