Covington, Conyers welcome the season with holiday celebrations

COVINGTON — Thursday night is the night that the downtown Square will shine with the glow of 70,000 lights as Main Street Covington and the city present the inaugural Covington’s Magical Lights of Christmas celebration.

This year marks the start of a new tradition with thousands of lights strung through 50 trees throughout the historic downtown area. Santa will be on hand to flip the switch that lights up the downtown area.

The event kicks off at 5 p.m. and includes music provided by the Oxford Singing Children’s Choir and Covington Community Band, horse-drawn carriage rides and visits with Santa at Ramsey’s Furniture.

A few miles to the west, the holidays will have a hometown feel as Conyers and Rockdale County make plans to celebrate with area residents.

The Olde Town Christmas Party will ring in the season on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event offers free visits and photos with Santa at the Conyers Depot and Welcome Center at 901 Railroad St.

In addition, the Rockdale County Historical Society will host a Secret Santa Shop in the depot warehouse where children up to age 10 can shop for gifts ranging in price from 50 cents to $5, with gift-wrapping included. A free workshop for kids presented by The Home Depot will be offered.

After shopping and visiting with Santa, visitors can take a carriage or train ride through the streets of Olde Town.

A seasonal musical backdrop with song and dance will be provided by Artistic J Productions. Restaurants and shops with special holiday sales will be open, and skaters are invited to take to the ice at the Olde Town Pavilion ice rink.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, approximately 70 entrants in the Hometown Holiday Parade will wind their way through Olde Town Conyers beginning at Rockdale County High School on Pine Log Road, continuing to Main Street and concluding on Milstead Avenue at Pine Street.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Lights, Camera, Action, Christmas!” to celebrate the recent success of film projects that have been part of the community’s landscape in recent years. Entries in the parade include the Heritage High School Marching Band, Atlanta Picture Cars and the Rockdale County 4-H Club. Cloggers, dancers, Scout troops, recreational sports teams, churches and local businesses will lead the way for the arrival of Santa Claus aboard the 1951 Rockdale County fire truck.

“The Hometown Holiday Parade is the perfect way for families and neighbors to come together and celebrate the start of the holiday season in our community,” said Mayor Randy Mills. “We’re happy to team up with Rockdale County to incorporate the parade and tree lighting into a day of holiday fun in Olde Town for families throughout Conyers and Rockdale County.”

The parade will be followed by the annual tree lighting celebration at the Rockdale County Courthouse beginning at 6 p.m. Local entertainment, concessions and Santa Claus will be on hand to greet the crowds that anticipate the lighting of the tree. Both the parade and tree lighting will be taped to air on Rockdale’s cable channel 23 throughout the holiday season.

Ice skating will be open in the Olde Town Pavilion for more holiday fun throughout the weekend. The cost is $7 to skate and $2 for skate rental. The ice skating rink will remain open through Jan. 5.

For more information on the Hometown Holiday Parade and other holiday events, call the Conyers Welcome Center at 770-602-2606 or visit www.conyersga.com for a calendar of events.