Members of the Ossipe Temple No. 65, the Main Street ladies, city of Valdosta employees and myself have once again come together to plan the annual Greater Valdosta Community Christmas Parade, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m.
The parade follows the annual Valdosta Main Street Holiday Open House day of festivities downtown, with entertainment throughout the day, a kids play area, a car show, the Camellia Show, visits with Santa and more.
At 4:30, the annual WinterFest 5K Run/Walk will begin down the parade route, with the parade officially starting its way down Patterson St. at 5 p.m. It’s the same route as always, beginning at Woodrow Wilson by the library and continuing all the way down Patterson St. to downtown.
Remember that roads will be blocked off and closed throughout the area on Saturday, so choose your route carefully and be patient as speeding drivers going around barricades will not be tolerated.
The theme of the parade this year is “Inside Santa’s Workshop,” and floats will be judged on appearance, creativity, workmanship and adherence to the theme. Members of the Temple will give trophies to the top three floats at a Valdosta City Council meeting, along with donations to several charitable organizations in the community.
This year, Valdosta Fire Chief J.D. Rice is the Grand Marshal. Rice is retiring at the end of this year, and this is a fitting way to honor his commitment to the city for many years.
There will be floats, a marching band or two, cars of all kinds, music, characters, horses, demonstrations by various clubs and athletic groups, and of course, Santa Claus in his horse driven sleigh.
Come out Saturday and support the community, enjoy the festivities and our wonderful community parade.
Kennedy’s Family Steak House will hold its official grand opening on Friday night this week. The new restaurant is located where the Tavern used to be on Highway 41 S. in Lake Park and is geared towards steak lovers and families. I know a number of folks in that area have been waiting for them to open up, so this is exciting news for south Lowndes.
The new Wendy’s on St. Augustine re-opened at just the right time a week ago in order to accommodate the Christmas shopping crowds in the last few days.
The mall area of town has been very busy through the weekend, and it’s only going to get worse between now and Christmas, so be prepared, be patient, and don’t lose your sense of humor.
The new location for the Baytree Animal Clinic by Black Crow Media has really come a long way in the last several weeks, with the building up, framed, and nearly ready for finish work.
The newest dollar store on N. Valdosta Road is nearing completion and should be opening in a few weeks.
I was hoping that the new Italian restaurant, Gondoliers, on Norman Drive would be finished and open before the holidays, but they didn’t quite make it, although it looks close. Maybe right after the first of the year?
The business spotlight in today’s section features Caribbean Delight downtown where the Cajun restaurant was on
N. Ashley St.
They moved from their location on Savannah Ave. by the railroad tracks and changed the name, but it’s the same owner and some great cooks.
The Valdosta Mall recently sold some property for a new business, but don’t have any details on it yet.
Speaking of the Mall, they have quite a few events planned over the next several weeks, including a special opportunity tomorrow night from 5 to 8 p.m. to have your pet’s photo taken with Santa.
Hopefully everyone took the time to enjoy Thanksgiving before heading to the stores to shop, and expect Christmas festivities and shopping to kick into high gear this week.
Don’t forget the parade Saturday downtown at 5 p.m. and if there’s anything I missed, please let me know!