By ALDO NAHED
CUMMING, Ga. — Holiday festivities kick off with several events planned in Cumming.
On the night of Dec. 6, Northside Hospital-Forsyth will hold its annual Celebration of Lights at 6 p.m., and in the morning of Saturday, Dec. 7, the annual Jingle Jog and Cumming Parade takes over Market Place Boulevard.
Jason Mock, director of small business services for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, said he expects a great turnout for the parade, sponsored by the chamber and the city of Cumming.
“We have about 50 floats that will be in the parade,” Mock said.
Prior to the parade, Forsyth County Community Connection holds its annual Jingle Jog 5K run/walk.
Runners meet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Taco Mac area, 2056 Market Place Boulevard in Cumming.
The race is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier and all proceeds will go to Forsyth County Community Connection.
At 10:30 a.m., the Cumming Christmas Parade marches, twirls and rides along Market Place. This is the eighth year the parade has been held in the city.
Thousands are expected to line the streets and while traffic will be closed for cars for about an hour, the event brings lots of new shoppers to local merchants, Mock said.
“We see a lot of people come out for that event, so it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season,” Mock said. “We’re pleased that we have been able to work something out with our business community along Market Place to host the parade and be proud of it as well.”
Celebration of Lights
The night before the parade, Northside Hospital will honor those affected by cancer with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree atop its campus in Cumming.
The tree will be lit on a new night — Friday, Dec. 6 — with a free community celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive in Cumming.
This year, which marks the 25th anniversary, the event will include entertainment from the Sawnee Ballet, Born to Dance, Forsyth Central High School and Haw Creek, Findley Oaks and Coal Mountain elementary schools.
Activities will be available for kids, including photos with Santa Claus.
WSB-TV anchor Fred Blankenship will serve as the event’s emcee.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years,” said Lynn Jackson, administrator for Northside Hospital-Forsyth. “We are so grateful to our staff, patients and the community for making Celebration of Lights such an honored holiday tradition over the years.”
If you go:
What: Cumming Christmas Parade
Where: Parade marches on Market Place Boulevard between Buford Dam Road and Ga. 20.
When: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Dec. 7