NORTH FULTON, Ga. — The holiday season is now in full swing, and the cities of Alpharetta and Roswell are hosting several activities for all ages to get in the spirit.
One of the biggest changes to Alpharetta’s annual holiday celebrations is the display of 11 life-size nutcrackers on the Village Green at City Center in downtown Alpharetta.
The handcrafted nutcrackers come all the way from Steubenville, Ohio, and will be displayed through the New Year in a special Nutcracker Village.
Each nutcracker takes a week to construct, carve and decorate, said Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard.
Each of the nutcrackers is sponsored by local organizations and businesses. Sponsors this year include Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce, WellStar North Fulton Hospital, Alpharetta Rotary Club, Alpharetta Business Association, Wilson Hutchison Realty and Datascan.
The season of celebration will continue Saturday, Dec. 8 from 4-8 p.m. with a Magical Winter Village on the Village Green.
The event will include visits with Santa and other holiday characters, live musical performances, falling snow and children’s crafts.
Stores will expand hours for holiday shopping.
The City of Alpharetta is also hosting a holiday food drive to help bring the spirit of the season to everyone in the community.
Through Dec. 21, the city will collect non-perishable food items and toiletries to help keep North Fulton Community Charities stocked throughout the winter months.
Anyone who donates will receive a coupon book for local businesses.
There are seven drop-off locations:
Avalon Concierge & Valet
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
Alpharetta First Baptist Church
Alpharetta City Hall
Alpharetta Arts Center
Wills Park Recreation Center
Adult Activity Center at North Park
Roswell will hold a plethora of holiday events, several of which have become staples in the community, throughout December.
Roswell spokeswoman Julie Brechbill said it’s often hard for people to pick just one favorite.
“There are a lot of great activities during this season,” Brechbill said. “All the holiday performances at the Cultural Arts Center are wonderful, the decorations at our historic homes are beautiful, and we definitely have something for everyone. I can’t just narrow it down to a few events. The puppet shows are always really popular with our families. The living history wedding is a really cool thing as well.”
Santa and Mrs. Claus will make two special visits to the Roswell Town Square on Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 16 from 1-3 p.m. Both visits are free and open to the public.
East Roswell Park will hold a Candy Cane Hunt on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 6-7:30 p.m. There will be a pizza dinner before participants are sent out to hunt for all sorts of candy canes. There will be a few giant candy canes that can be redeemed for prizes. Registration is $12 each.
On Dec. 14, parents can take the night off by bringing their children to a Pajama Party with Santa. The party will be held for all ages Friday, Dec. 14 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the Bill Johnson Community Activity Building in Roswell Area Park. Children can enjoy snacks, crafts and a showing of “The Polar Express” while Santa chaperones. Registration is $38.
For more information and other holiday events in Roswell, visit roswellgov.com/holidays.