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Covington and Porterdale hosting Christmas parades

COVINGTON -- Everybody loves a parade, and this week, there are three to enjoy.

Porterdale's annual Christmas in the Village will take place Friday at 7 p.m. downtown. The most popular feature, Santa and his miniature reindeer, will once again take part, and Santa will stay around afterwards to hear the Christmas wish lists of good little boys and girls.

Participants are still needed for the parade, said coordinator Martha Cain. Anyone interested should visit www.cityofporterdale.com and click on "Christmas in the Village" to download an entry form. There is no cost to enter.

In addition to the parade, the lighting of Porterdale's Historic Star and the Christmas Tree atop the lofts will take place. Revelers can also gather round the campfire to roast marshmallows and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

"I think it's a good, fun family event," Cain said.

While folks are enjoying the festivities in Porterdale, they can also head over to the dam on Yellow River to enjoy Yellow River Preservation and Conservation's first Christmas Boat Show. The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will feature lighted boats drifting in front of the dam. Watch out for Santa on a paddleboard too!

Following the fun in Porterdale, on Saturday the annual Covington Christmas Parade will take place at 10:30 a.m. through the streets in and around downtown Covington.

The parade will start as usual with the lineup on Newton Drive, proceed down Anderson and to the Square, then change course from years past by turning south onto Monticello Street, proceeding to Conyers Street and turning east down Mill Street and then returning to Newton Drive.

Rothell Lewis, a special education teacher at Live Oak Elementary School and Newton County's Teacher of the Year, will be the grand marshal as is the parade custom. Santa will of course be there as well. Those who can't attend in person can watch the parade from the comfort of their homes in the days following the parade, as it will air on Covington PEG channels.

In Rockdale County, the annual Hometown Holiday Parade in Olde Town Conyers will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The parade will begin at Rockdale County High School on Pine Log Road and travel west on Main Street and finish on Milstead Avenue near Pine Street Elementary School.

The parade will include over 70 entries and floats and features Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

The Community Tree Lighting will immediately follow the parade at the Rockdale County Court House's Milstead Avenue entrance.

The Conyers Main Street Program is planning for several holiday activities in the Olde Town business district leading up to Saturday's parade.

The Olde Town Christmas Party will have complimentary horse carriage and train rides Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. New this year is a children's crafts area sponsored by Home Depot where children will have the chance to make holiday crafts and decorations to take home.

Also, the party runs in conjunction with the Secret Santa Shop, sponsored by the Rockdale County Historical Society. The event allows children to shop for Christmas gifts that range in price from 50 cents to $5. Free gift wrapping will be available from 5 to 9 p.m.

Performances of "A Conyers Kids Christmas Carol," will be held at 6 and 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Center Street Arts Center. Admission is free. The performances are presented by Conyers Kids and the Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts.Monica Coffin, manager of the Conyers Main Street Program, said the holiday activities in Olde Town have grown over the past few years.

"Together with the party, the carriage and train rides, the Secret Santa Shop and music followed by ice staking it all compliments each other to bring a really good holiday atmosphere for everyone," she said.

News Editor Jay Jones contributed to this story.