HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The holidays have arrived, and families lined along Main Street, ringing in the season with the annual Towns County Sheriff’s Christmas Parade on Saturday, Nov. 24. “Making Spirits Bright” was this year’s theme, with spectators encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys to local children for the Empty Stocking Fund.
The parade began at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds at 6 pm, heading east toward Hiawassee Town Square. The roar of sirens could be heard long before the procession arrived at its final destination shortly after 6:30 pm, with children anxiously awaiting the festive floats, and of course, Santa Claus.
Parade participants tossed candy to onlookers, waving and wishing the crowd a very “Merry Christmas.”
Georgia Bass Nation High School rode in the procession, with the Adam Kennedy team winning first place, followed by Reel Money Team Trail placing second, and the Towns County Lions Club landing a respected third.
“Thank you all for making this another successful parade,” Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton expressed, “New, unwrapped toys for underprivileged Towns County children are accepted at our courthouse and administrative offices, as well as monetary donations.”
“Light Up Hiawassee” is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, on Hiawassee Square.
From the Desk of Sheriff Chris Clinton:
This year, the Sheriff’s Christmas Parade will be Saturday, November 25, beginning at 5:30pm. The parade will start at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds and end at McConnell Memorial Baptist Church in Hiawassee. Anyone can enter the parade and participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy. Those who wish may also donate to the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking Fund. The proceeds from the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking fund go directly to benefit underprivileged children in Towns County, children who might not receive Christmas gifts otherwise.
Last year, thanks to all those who donated, we were able to provide gifts for hundreds of Towns County Children. This year we hope to continue to meet those needs for children who otherwise would not receive Christmas gifts, but we will need your help and continued support. We have already begun to receive donations for the children, and I would like to thank those who have joined us to help in this effort. Each year since 2007, I have had the honor to be a part of something that brings joy to the hearts of those who give, as well as to the children who receive. I am thankful to serve such a caring community.
This year we are again asking those who will, to continue their support of the Sheriff’s Empty Stocking fund. The program is designed in such a manner as to allow the parents to pick up the gifts, or if unable to pick them up due to transportation issues, we will deliver the gifts to the parents. The idea behind the program is to allow the parents to be the ones who give the gifts to their children. It is a wonderful program that brings joy to the hearts of many young children each year. I would like to take this opportunity to say a personal thank you to the entire Sheriff’s Office staff and our CLEA volunteers for working so hard each year to ensure that local children and families have a merry Christmas!
If you are interested in helping by participating in the parade, simply call the Sheriff’s Office at 706/896-4444. You may also drop off donations at the Sheriff’s Office Detention Center located at 4070 State Highway 339, Young Harris, or the Towns County Sheriff’s Office located in the Towns County Courthouse at 48 River Street, Hiawassee.
Thank you for your continued support of this wonderful program. We look forward to another successful year of helping Towns County’s children in need, made possible by your generosity this Christmas season.