The Holiday Season has arrived and with it, a slew of local events throughout the entire month of December that are designed to get your family into the Christmas spirit while creating memories that will last a lifetime. This weekend is jam-packed with holiday festivities around the county.
First up, the annual Town and Country Holiday Tour of Homes kicks off this Thursday, Nov. 30 and runs through Saturday, Dec. 2.
Participants will be able to explore Madison on this self-guided tour through Madison’s finest historic homes, churches and sites. Docents will be at designated locations to relay each site unique history. The day tours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The evening Candlelight Tours run from Friday, Dec. 1 to Saturday, Dec. 2, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“It’s an opportunity to walk back in time in the dwellings where our residents walked a 100 years before, and an opportunity to experience the essence of Christmas in a small Southern town,” said Bob Hughes, president of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce. “Madison is home to Georgia’s second-largest Historic District and this tour illustrates how our past still lives in our privately-owned and historically-significant homes, as well as our treasured historic attractions and churches. It also showcases some of our newer homes and in-town lofts that add a modern touch to our historic character. You will notice we also are bursting with great entertainment, one-of-a-kind shopping and a diverse collection of dining options.”
Daytime Tour tickets are $35. Evening Candlelight Tour tickets are $30. Combo tickets are $50. To purchase tickets, contact the Chamber of Commerce at (706) 438-3120. Tour Headquarters will be located in Town Park across from the James Madison Inn. Use JMI address at 260 West Washington St. Look for White Tent beside the Gazebo.
The Madison Artists Guild (MAG), located at 123 S Main Street, will be featuring a special Christmas theme during this month’s First Friday event on Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. The MAG is asking participants to bring a Christmas ornaments to trade. According to the MAG, attendees can “kick off the Christmas season at our Ornament Exchange at MAGallery. Bring a hand-made ornament (whether by your hand or not) to exchange for another hand-made ornament. It’s always fun to see what you take home. You may also want to add to your own collection from all the choices of ornaments from our very own gallery artists. MAGallery will also be selling the city of Madison’s Historic Home ornament collection. MAGallery is a great place to find unique gifts, jewelry and art for all those on your Christmas list. And, of course, we’ll have our tasty hors d’oeuvres and drinks while you’re shopping.” For more information contact MAG at (706) 342-9360.
But Madison is not the only city in Morgan County celebrating the Christmas season this weekend. The City of Rutledge is also hosting a downtown festival this Friday, Dec. 1 and this Saturday, Dec. 2. Head over the Rutledge’s charming downtown square in Rutledge City Park for the annual Rutledge Christmas Festival. According to the city, “there will be fun, food, shopping, face-painting, crafts and much more.”
Rutledge is also anticipating a very special visit Saturday morning at 11 a.m. from Good Ole’ St. Nick himself.
Also happening this Saturday, Dec. 2, Farmview Market in Madison will be hosting a holiday celebration at 11 a.m. The event will give families a chance to do some Christmas shopping while enjoying live entertainment and holiday festivities. According to a press release for Farmview Market, the local business is inviting the community to “Celebrate an exciting Christmas themed holiday market with Farmview Market. This special holiday event is one day only and FREE for the entire family. Your guests will enjoy an assortment of handcrafted gifts, Christmas carols by local favorites, a special appearance by Santa Claus and more! We will also be selling our own assortment of holiday gift sets that offer unique, locally sourced gifts for anyone on your list.”
Cap off the weekend on Sunday, Dec. 3 with the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s (MMCC) annual Community Holiday Concert at 3 p.m. The concert will feature local talent from Madison’s best singers and dancers. According to the MMCC, “Join us for an afternoon of song and dance showcasing Madison talent. No admission charge, but tickets must be picked up in advance from the Cultural Center. The donation of canned goods for the Caring Place is encouraged.”
Next weekend will also be full of chances to enjoy local holiday celebrations.
Morgan Memorial Hospital’s (MMH) Auxiliary is hosting the annual Love Light Tree Celebration, one of the hospital’s premier fundraisers of the year, on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Heritage Hall in Madison. This event is the perfect chance to give to a worthy cause while paying homage to lost loved ones. Every year, donors purchase a light on the MMH Christmas tree in honor or in memory of a loved one. Individuals may purchase a light in honor or memory of loved ones for $25, $50, or $100. Those wishing to purchase a light or needing more information may contact Megan Morris at 706-752-2237. All money raised goes toward the needs of MMH.
The 36th Annual Madison Christmas Rush is the perfect early morning event for our local runners to admire the city’s Christmas décor while jogging through town. According to the Morgan County Rotary Club, the organization is “calling all runners to the 36th Annual Madison Christmas Rush Classic in Madison, on Saturday, December 9! We have a great 5K, 8K and 1-mile fun-run through Madison’s historic district. You will see Madison dressed for the holidays!” The Rush starts at 9 a.m. in Downtown Madison. Call Cindy Englan for more information at (478) 451-7113.
Santa Claus will be making an appearance at the Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) for “pizza and pictures” with children on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “What a wonderful time of year to come to the Morgan County African American Museum to share Pizza with Santa,” said a press release for MCAAM. “Your picture with Santa will be a wonderful memento in years to come.” For more information, contact the MCAAM at (706) 342-9191.
If your kids are looking for a creative outlet this Christmas season, head over to the Madison Artists Guild (MAG) on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. for the organization’s 17th Annual Gingerbread Workshop. There will be a contest for kids between the ages of 11 and 14 with a $50 cash prize. Advanced tickets are $17 per house for non-members of MAG and $15 for MAG members. Tickets sold at the door will be $20 for each house. Get your tickets at 123 S Main St. For more information call the MAG at (706) 342-9360.
Also on Saturday Dec. 9, The City of Madison is hosting the “Hometown Christmas Parade at 4 p.m., which will be directly followed by the City’s annual Caroling By Candlelight in Town Park.
According to the City of Madison, “We’ll be parading through Downtown Madison to ring in the Christmas Holiday! The Holiday Parade will feature floats, walking groups, vintage cars, horses, dogs, dancers, and the award winning MCHS Marching Bulldog Band, all decorated to this year’s theme, ‘Deck the Halls.’ Show your community spirit and join the fun by entering your business or organization in the parade. It’s FREE to participate and entry forms are available for download on this page. After the parade, join friends and neighbors for our annual Caroling By Candlelight celebration in Town Park. An evening full of music and holiday spirit brought to you by Madison Main Street. Local choral groups, bands, and community-based musicians will perform holiday carols certain to warm our hearts. Performers will also lead the crowd in familiar carols to extend the holiday cheer.
In addition to the musical show, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the Elves will be on hand to hear Christmas wishes. Kids are invited to sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, or leave a special letter for speedy delivery to the North Pole. Warm your hands with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and tasty marshmallows roasted over an open flame. Celebrate the holiday season in small town style, join us for the Holiday Parade and Caroling by Candlelight.”
Local children will have yet another opportunity to tell Santa their Christmas lists while parents snap photos on Monday, Dec. 11 when St. Nick makes a pit stop at Paschal Orthodontics, located at 1880 Bethany Road in Madison, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, contact the office at (706) 342-7330.
In the middle of the month, Hard Labor Creek in Rutledge will be hosting “An Evening with Santa & Hayrides” on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will feature a parade, photos with Santa, hayrides, holiday singing, free crafts, games, a gingerbread house contest, and story readings throughout the afternoon. For more information, contact (706) 557-3001. To make reservations, call: 1-800-864-7275.
As Christmas Day draws closer, enjoy classical renditions of holiday music at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s annual Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Concert on Friday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. According to the MMCC, “This is an annual favorite for over 40 years! The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs a program of holiday and classical favorites, including a sing-a-long of familiar holiday tunes.” Tickets can be purchased through the Cultural Center, visit: http://www.mmcc-arts.org.
There is truly something for all who want to celebrate this beloved holiday season locally.