Parades in Rockdale and Newton to go on despite rain

CONYERS — The weather outside may be frightful this weekend, but organizers are hoping that rain will not dampen the spirits of those who plan to attend the various holiday celebrations in Rockdale and Newton counties. The weather forecast from the Weather Channel predicts a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain for the rest of the week heading into the weekend that is chock full of holiday events.

Covington’s Annual Christmas Parade, which is sponsored by the Covington Lions Club and Main Street Covington, will take place Saturday morning “rain or shine,” said Doreen Stallworth, secretary for the Covington Lions Club.

“If there were heavy rain or lightning, we would postpone it temporarily or consider shutting it down — safety comes first,” Stallworth said Wednesday.

The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., but the judging of the floats will begin at 9 a.m. in front of Sharp Learning Center on Newton Drive.

In Conyers, the Hometown Holiday Parade scheduled for 4:30 p.m. will continue as planned, said Jennifer Edwards, director of public relations and tourism for the city of Conyers.

“We will continue with the parade, rain or shine” she said. “If there were to be severe weather, we would consider canceling it, but with a forecast of scattered showers and not knowing when they’ll occur, we decided it’s best to keep everything as scheduled.”

While the parade will go on as scheduled, the annual tree lighting celebration set for 6 p.m. Saturday will be moved from outside the Rockdale County Courthouse to inside the Rockdale County Auditorium on Main Street.

“This year’s Tree Lighting theme, ‘Lights, Camera, Action, Christmas!’ will feature performances by local choirs and dance groups, and a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will light a beautifully decorated Christmas tree on stage in front of the audience. There will still be lights on the large outdoor tree for citizens to enjoy through the holiday season,” said Tonya Parker, director of Community Affairs and Innovative Programs with Rockdale County.

Other events in Rockdale and Newton counties may also move indoors due to anticipated inclement weather.

Teri Haler, director of Porterdale Downtown, said the Porterdale Parade set for 7 p.m. Friday will continue as scheduled. However, two musical productions that are planned to be held in the open-air Porterdale Gymnasium may be moved to other covered venues in the event of rain, she said.

“Christmas in the Village,” will kick off the celebration Thursday, including a performance by the Newton County Community Band at 6:30 p.m. Haler said the band will move its performance to Julia A. Porter United Methodist Church on Cotton Avenue should it be raining.

Likewise, she said, the Fifth Annual TUBACHRISTMAS, which is slated to begin at 3 p.m. Sunday at the historic gym, will be moved under the pavilion at the Depot.

In Conyers, the Olde Town Christmas Party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday. Edwards said some of the outdoor events may be moved under cover and she was not certain as of Wednesday whether the carriage rides would still be offered. Otherwise, everything else, including the Secret Santa Shop, will be on schedule, she said.

“We are hoping that will have lots of spectators and participants who will brave the weather for some holiday fun,” Edwards said.

At a glance:

The following is a breakdown of some of the Christmas holiday events scheduled this weekend in Rockdale and Newton counties:

Thursday, Dec. 5

• 4 to 8 p.m., Porterdale Tour of Homes

• 5 to 6 p.m., Caroling by the Oxford Youth Singers and a local church choir at the Julia A. Porter United Methodist Church in Porterdale;

• 6:30 p.m., Newton County Community Band performing in the historic Porterdale Gymnasium at 6:30 p.m.; and

• A reception featuring performers from the Newton County Arts Association’s upcoming presentation of “The Nutcracker”

Friday, Dec. 6

• 5 to 8 p.m., Olde Town Christmas Party in Conyers;

• 7 p.m., Porterdale Christmas parade

Saturday, Dec. 7

• 10:30 a.m., Covington Christmas Parade

• 4:30 p.m., Conyers Hometown Holiday Parade

• 6 p.m., Rockdale County Annual Tree Lighting

Sunday, Dec. 8

• 3 p.m., TUBACHRISTMAS concert and sing-along in Porterdale (participant registration is from 1 to 2 p.m.)