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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The Advance Staff

Communities throughout the area are getting into the holiday spirit with celebrations, parades and other events to mark the Christmas holiday.

Thursday, December 2

On Thursday, December 2, the Paul Anderson Youth Home will hold its annual Christmas Family Extravaganza at First Baptist Church in downtown Vidalia. The annual community Christmas program, which begins at 6 p.m., is a ticketed event that is open to the public.

The Rev. Don Moye of First Baptist Church Vidalia will lead a production featuring local talent, PAYH staff, young men and alumni. A “Jingle Mingle” will be held before the main program featuring a Christmas goodies and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Details and ticket information about the event can be found at

Also on Thursday, Memorial Health Meadows Hospital will honor and remember those who passed away in the COVID pandemic with a memorial service and tree lighting. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. as guests join the hospital continued from page

staff to light a Christmas tree embellished with ornaments bearing the names of those who lost their lives to COVID at the hospital.

Meadows staff encourage the use of masks and social distancing during this event. Hot chocolate and cookies will also be served at the service.

Friday, December 3

The City of Lyons will kick off the Christmas season Friday, December 3, with a Winter WonderLyons celebration beginning at 4 p.m. The event will offer activities for children and free hot chocolate and cookies. The Annual Lyons Lighted Christmas Parade starts at 6 p.m. The theme for the 2021 parade is “A Magical Christmas,” and this year the parade will be led by Grand Marshal W. D. (Doyle) NeSmith, Sr., the father of Lyons Mayor W. D. (Willis) NeSmith, Jr.

NeSmith, Sr., and Dr. Ben Neely, the first Grand Marshal of the Lyons Parade, were honored at the annual Grand Marshal Breakfast on November 16 in Lyons. NeSmith, Sr., was praised for his work throughout the community over his lifetime. “He is always there to help anyone who needs it, but he never wants anyone to know that he is the one who has done these helpful things,” Lyons Fire Chief Darel Corley said. “He is such a humble man and we are honored to acknowledge him this year.” Saturday, December 4

The City of Vidalia will bring Christmas cheer to the weekend as the annual Vidalia Christmas Parade is held on Saturday, December 4, at 11 a.m. This year’s parade theme is “Inside Santa’s Workshop,” and will feature several local businesses and schools.

A Christmas festival will be held in front of Wholesale Customs in Higgston on December 4, as the “Christmas in Dixie” celebration is open to the public from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The festival offers live music featuring Aaron Tanner, Indulgence. and the Kramer Family, a car show, vendors selling arts and crafts, kids’ entertainment, and more.

Wheeler County will celebrate the Christmas season on Saturday as well, as the City of Alamo holds its annual Christmas parade at 6 p.m. on December 4. The City will also host its annual “Christmas in the City” celebration the same day, beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing through the parade. This event will feature vendors, music, kids’ entertainment, visits with Santa, and more.

Sunday, December 5

The town of Uvalda will host a tree lighting on Sunday, December 5, at 4 p.m. in the park downtown. Santa will be dropping by. Monday, December 6

Cedar Crossing will hold its 2021 Christmas parade on Monday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 11

The City of Glenwood has slated its annual Christmas parade for Saturday, December 11. Lineup starts at 10 a.m. at the city’s Civic Center. The City of Mount Vernon will host its parade on December 11, at 4 p.m. The theme for this year’s parade is “A Storybook Christmas.” The parade lines up at 3 p.m. at J.M. Fountain Park. The Altama Museum of Art and History in Vidalia will provide the public with a unique opportunity to purchase gifts at a Christmas Pop-Up Market on December 11 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Vidalia Ballet will continue the Christmas spirit on December 11 as they perform their annual production of “The Nutcracker” at Southeastern Technical College at 6 p.m.

Friday, December 24

In what has become an annual yuletide ritual, the residents of Santa Claus will turn out to place candles in sandbags along the town’s streets. Preparation begins at 10 a.m. and the candles are placed along the streets at dark.

GRAND MARSHAL — Willis Doyle NeSmith, Sr., Lyons Mayor Willis NeSmith’s father, was named the Grand Marshal for the 2021 Lyons Christmas Parade at the Grand Marshal Breakfast on November 16. NeSmith celebrated alongside his wife and children, as well as the first ever Grand Marshal of the Lyons Christmas Parade, Dr. Ben Neely. Shown, from left, are: Ginny Anne Lipscomb, Willis Doyle NeSmith, Sr., June NeSmith, Dr. Ben Neely, Susanne Neely, and Mayor Willis NeSmith.

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