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Monday May 30th, 2016 7:12AM

Saturday weather holds off for most Christmas events

By Rob Moore Reporter
UNDATED - Despite a forecast for possible rain across northeast Georgia on Saturday, inclement weather held off for most Christmas parades and events.

In Baldwin, the city for the first time hosted the Habersham County Christmas Parade, this year entitled, "Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child."

Mayor Jerry Neace estimated some 2,000 people lined the one-mile parade route from Baldwin City Hall on Airport Road to Mitchell Gailey City Park beside Baldwin Fire Department on Willingham Avenue.

Baldwin Elementary School won the Closest to Theme trophy for its entry, "Reading Brings Books to Life," while Demorest Elementary won the Most Creative trophy for its entry, "The Polar Express."

Judges for the parade entries were Rick Story of the Habersham Archway Partnership, Kimberly Boring from Fieldale and Gail Wilbanks from Wilbanks Body Shop.

Following the parade, city officials said they had not heard anything but praise for the event, noting they hope to be placed in rotation to host the county Christmas parade every three years, alternating with Clarkesville and Cornelia.

In addition to the parade, the city hosted The Christmas Village Festival in Mitchell Gailey City Park, featuring crafts, entertainment and children's activities. The park is named for former city council member, the late Mitchell Gailey, who had a massive Christmas village display.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the streets of Helen filled for the parade in Georgia's Alpine Village. That event featured entries from businesses, veterans' groups, a Ford Thunderbird club, and Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as the State of Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force's Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Following the parade, the Clauses met with visitors in the Bandshell for the second weekend. Santa and Mrs. Claus will return to the Bandshell on Main Street in Helen from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21.

The clear weather of the daylight hours gave way to drizzle and cooler temperatures as the sun went down Saturday.

That didn't prevent several thousand people from lining the streets in Cleveland for that city's lighted Christmas parade at 7 p.m., which featured at least 20 floats, numerous emergency vehicles, the White County High School Jr. ROTC, and other entries.

The parade was held in conjunction with Christmas in the Mountains, a festival held on the Cleveland Square throughout the day Saturday.
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