“We have had just a really great variety of comments and feedback on that event,” said Damon Kirkpatrick, president of the Friends of Red Top organization. “It was probably one of our most successful [Christmas events].
“People really enjoy being able to come and spend some quiet time. Instead of rushing to the mall to see where Santa might be, they enjoy coming out to the park and enjoying just the outdoor atmosphere and being able to have some Christmas festivities that are a little out of the ordinary. That’s some of the feedback that we got, was that they really enjoyed being able to go and have some quiet enjoyable time to celebrate the holidays that wasn’t something they do every year.”
Like Red Top’s event, there are many upcoming festive offerings throughout the county that feature jolly St. Nick. From parades to ice skating to tree lightings, municipalities and nonprofits are busy putting the finishing touches on their holiday programs.
“All of these innovative and fresh events going on throughout the county couldn’t happen at a better time,” said Ellen Archer, executive director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Besides the fact that it is Christmas, and [a time to celebrate], but it’s that time of year when families visit families. Family visitation is one of the strongest sources of tourism because people come, and if we did not have things that families could show off to their visiting friends and family during the holidays, they would go to other towns that can.
“So besides fulfilling all of our needs to celebrate the Christmas season and put our best foot forward ... it not only brings in tourism but it retains visitors, particularly the friend and family market that’s already here. Because if we didn’t have these exciting, wonderful Christmas events, they would go to communities that do because people are out looking for those sort of things.”
Some of the upcoming holiday offerings that will feature Santa Claus appearances include:
• Emerson Tree Lighting — The public is invited to partake in a tree lighting ceremony inside Emerson City Hall today at 6:30 p.m. Individuals can honor a loved one by bringing and placing an ornament on the tree. Along with the tree lighting, the event also will feature the South Central Middle School chorus and a visit from Santa Claus.
For more information, call Emerson City Hall, 700 Highway 293, at 770-382-9819.
• Cartersville Tree Lighting and Parade — Prior to the Cartersville-Bartow County Exchange Club Christmas Parade at 6 p.m., downtown Cartersville on Thursday will be filled with festivities, including a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5:59 p.m. at Friendship Plaza; outdoor ice skating rink on Museum Drive — sponsored by Family Savings Credit Union and Kasasa — from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m; a visit from Santa Claus starting at 4 p.m. in which adults need to bring cameras for photo opportunities; and a Jingle Jog that will utilize the parade’s route at 5:45 p.m.
After lining up at the Tabernacle Baptist Church parking lot at 4 p.m., the parade participants will depart at 6 p.m., turning right on Church Street, left on Bartow Street, left on Main Street, left on Stonewall Street, left on Church Street, right on Tennessee Street and then return to Tabernacle Baptist. If the parade is rained out, it will be rescheduled for Dec. 13.
To register for the Jingle Jog, visit www.AdvoChild.org. Entry fees will be $30 on Dec. 6, 4 p.m., at the Tabernacle Baptist Church parking lot.
For more information about the parade, call 678-395-1133 or visit www.cartersvilleexchange.com. Further details on the tree lighting ceremony can be obtained by calling the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority at 770-607-3480.
• Hometown Christmas — To promote shopping locally, the Cartersville DDA and Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce will present Hometown Christmas on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Held in Cartersville’s downtown district, the initiative will create a festive shopping mood, with entertainment and photographs with Santa Claus.
For more information about Hometown Christmas, call the Cartersville DDA at 770-607-3480 or the local Chamber of Commerce at 770-382-1466.
• Cowboy Santa — On Saturday, Cowboy Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with young patrons at the Booth Western Art Museum’s store.
From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., adults will be invited to bring a camera and take a photo of their children visiting with the notable couple. There also will be an opportunity for children to create an ornament in the Booth Sculpture Court from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
The activities will be included in the museum’s regular admission — $10 for adults, $8 for individuals 65 and older, $7 for students, and free for children 12 and younger, museum members and active military personnel with ID. For more information, call the museum — 501 Museum Drive — at 770-387-1300 or visit www.boothmuseum.org.
• Christmas in Adairsville — Hosted by the city of Adairsville and the Adairsville DDA, Christmas in Adairsville will begin Saturday at 5 p.m., with carolers from various churches singing in the gazebo, and wrap up with a parade, tree lighting ceremony and pictures of Santa Claus.
With Adairsville Rail Depot Age of Steam Museum and many of the shops staying open and providing refreshments, people will be welcome to enjoy the downtown area before the parade begins at 6 p.m. Departing from behind Adairsville Middle School on King Street, the parade’s route will travel down Main Street, Gilmer Street and Railroad Street before returning to AMS.
For more information about the Christmas in Adairsville event, call Adairsville City Hall at 770-773-3451.
• Euharlee Festival of Trees — Presented by the Margaret Montgomery Christmas 4 Kids Foundation, the Euharlee Festival of Trees will be presented through Dec. 8 at The Granary, 114 Covered Bridge Road in Euharlee. About 20 Christmas trees — varying in size, 2 feet to 9 feet tall, and decorations — and between eight and 10 wreaths will be on display and up for auction.
The trees will be available for viewing through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. Santa will be available for visits Friday and Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be no admission charge but donations will be accepted to help provide Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in Bartow.
For more information about the Euharlee Festival of Trees, call John Montgomery at 770-547-7747.