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Porterdale celebrates with parade

PORTERDALE -- The city of Porterdale is inviting everyone to celebrate the holidays at its Christmas in the Village event Friday night.

The celebration will kick off at 7 p.m. with a parade through downtown Porterdale. Highlights will include the Newton High School marching band and the arrival of Santa Claus and his real, tiny reindeer, who will stick around to be petted and pose for pictures with good little boys and girls. The same reindeer will be featured in the city of Atlanta's Christmas parade the following morning.

The parade lineup will take place at Village Inn and the route will be south on Ga. Highway 81 to the Historic Train Depot. There are about 50 entries this year, according to Better Hometown Manager Sandy Fowler.

"This is the third year of the event and we're trying to expand on what we did last year and make it a bigger and better event involving more and more of our community," Fowler said.

The lighting of the city's Christmas tree will take place at about 7:45 p.m. at the depot. The re-lighting of the star atop the city water tower will also take place, an event that will be of great significance to many who grew up in the old mill town.

"That star is over 50 years old. It was built by Bibb employees back years ago and placed on top of that water tower and lit during the holiday season. It has not been lit, due to electrical problems and inaccessibility, for years and years," Fowler said. "The Better Hometown program has enabled that star to be put back in working order."

There will also be marshmallow roasting and a letter-writing station, where children can pen their Christmas wish lists to Santa. Several groups will provide musical entertainment.

"This is where memories are made. Bring your family and your friends. Come out and enjoy the historic downtown Porterdale Christmas parade," Fowler said.