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CHEER UP: PARADES SHOW HOLIDAY SPIRIT
Christmas Parades in the area.

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Date published: 11/29/2012

BY BRIDGET BALCH

If you were one of the 50 million people who tuned in to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade last week, you'll be excited hear that these coming weekends will provide several opportunities to stand street-side and watch the parades in person.

Although you won't get to see the giant Kermit the Frog balloon, local Christmas parades have a lot to offer, minus the six-hour drive and overwhelming crowds.

With "Christmas in Hawaii," a horseback-riding Olympian and Santa riding in on a firetruck, these parades hold their own when it comes to getting the Christmas festivities started.

ENJOY A FAIRY TALE IN FREDERICKSBURG

About 100 local groups and organizations unleash their creativity and parade the streets of downtown Fredericksburg for this annual Christmas celebration.

The theme of this year's Jaycees parade is "Once Upon A Christmas," so floats and performers will treat the audience to storybook and fairy tale-inspired displays.

The two-hour parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the corner of Caroline and Charlotte streets, goes up Amelia Street and down Princess Anne Street, and ends at the Fredericksburg Courthouse.

Get there early to get a good spot on Princess Anne, and let the little ones up front so they can see.

"We always get a huge response from the community," said Jennifer Adkins, Christmas parade co-chairwoman.

Adkins also stressed that Jaycees encourage everyone to "stay in the Christmas spirit" and "be nice to one another."

In addition to providing Christmas festivities for families, the Jaycees will use this opportunity to give to needy children in the area.

Working with the Boys and Girls Club and Micah Ecumenical Ministries, Jaycees will use proceeds from parade participants' entry fees to fund a shopping trip to Kohl's and a day at Funland for about 20 local homeless children.

HANG 10 IN SPOTSYLVANIA

Take a mini-"staycation" and bask in the island sun at this year's Spotsylvania Christmas Parade, themed "Christmas in Hawaii."

The 35th annual parade, which starts at Spotsylvania Middle School and goes to the Spotsylvania Courthouse Village, will have decorated floats, horses, carriages, motorized vehicles, performers on foot and Santa Claus, escorted by the Spotsylvania Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad.

"It's a really good, fun event," said Kathy Smith, public information officer for Spotsylvania County.


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Candlelight, caroling and the courthouse bell will ring in the Christmas season at Spotsylvania Courthouse.

"It's very beautiful," said Kathy Smith, public information officer for Spotsylvania County.

At sunset, approximately 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, on the Courthouse Lawn, the gentle glow of luminarias will set the mood for the musical presentations of the Chancellor High School Vocal Ensemble, the Christ Episcopal Church Choir, the Sylvannah Baptist Church Choir and the Zion United Methodist Church Choir, as they lead the audience in Christmas caroling.

Lake Anna is gearing up for its second annual Lake Is Great Christmas Tree Lighting this Saturday, Dec. 1. The event will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. beside the Lake Is Great Store, 2991 New Bridge Road. Santa is expected to make his grand entrance at 6 p.m. and pose for children and hear what's on their wish list. There will also be kids activity stations, including ornament decorating and preparing pouches of reindeer food that can be sprinkled outdoors on Christmas Eve. Plus enjoy all your favorite holiday treats for sale, craft vendors and performances by local groups.