It's an annual tradition.
A large crowd gathers in downtown Watkinsville to listen to the merry sounds of carolers, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy festive cookies and hot chocolate in anticipation of the main event: the lighting of the city's Christmas tree.
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The tree that was donated last year didn't fare well over the summer, so a new live tree was purchased and planted at the end of October. The Thuja Green Giant currently tree stands at about 14 feet, but could eventually reach a height of 30 feet, Mayor Charles Ivie said.
Ivie, wife Carol, and city clerk Julie Sanders spent much of the day and into the evening Monday stringing lights and trimming the tree with brightly-colored ornaments and shimmering red ribbon.
This year the Community Christams Tree Lighting will be held on Friday, Nov. 30 starting at 6 p.m. The tree will be lit at 7 p.m. Thousands will return on Saturday, Dec. 1 for the downtown Christmas parade beginning at 11 a.m. The theme is “Twas the night before Christmas in Watkinsville.”