By Tia Lynn Lecorchick, Staff writer
Christmas came to Buckhead with the arrival of Santa Clause and the lighting of the town’s tree. “I think it’s great for the community to come together to celebrate the Christmas season,” said resident Erin Miller.
On Sunday Dec. 1 residents of Buckhead gathered to celebrate the season through the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree. People brought chairs and warm blankets as they stood listening to Christmas themed music. Even Santa and Mrs. Clause made an appearance.
Mayor Ricky Walker welcomed everyone in attendance to the event. Before the festivities kicked off, Walker spoke about the town’s Christmas tree. Recently, the city council voted to remove the old Christmas tree. As Mayor Walker explained, the tree was proving to be hazardous.
The council then purchased and planted a new tree. The planting of the new tree made it too small to handle the decorations. In an effort to allow the tree to grow, an alternative tree was decorated and placed in the gazebo by the firehouse to be lit at the event. Mayor Walker told the tale of the tree, stating that the newly planted tree will be able to be lit in years to come. After explaining about the tree Mayor Ricky introduced the cities preacher.
The preacher led the audience in a prayer. The national anthem was then sung. Mayor Ricky then used a dispatch system to contact the fireman Drew who was bringing Santa to the event. Fireman Drew confirmed that Santa was with him and would be making an appearance shortly. Moments later, the sounds of a fire truck blared and engine number four pulled into the station. Inside the truck was Santa, waving as they pulled into celebration. Once at the event, Santa was given a place to sit on a trailer with his wife Mrs. Clause.
Children dressed as elves darted towards Santa. Families gathered around the iconic white bearded man to take pictures. Children told Santa Clause their wishes for Christmas and pranced back to their parents carrying a candy cane. With Santa situated, the festivities continued with local church choirs taking their turns at the microphone. According to Mayor Walker, there were several churches that had planned to come but due to illnesses, they weren’t all able to make it. Walker encouraged people to keep these choir members in their prayers.
The first group to perform was Lake Oconee Baptist Church. As the members sang, residents sat around and listened to the songs of the season. City Council members and volunteers offered hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, and pastries from inside the firehouse. After Lake Oconee Baptist choir performed, it was Buckhead Baptist Church’s turn. After the church choirs sang, other Buckhead residents took their turns singing their favorite Christmas songs.
Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer seemed to be a crowd favorite and got people moving around in their places. Rocking Around the Christmas Tree had Santa and his elves dancing in their places on the trailer. The enthusiasm was contagious and got people of all ages singing along.
With the crowd full of joy, it was Santa and Mrs. Clause’s turn to sing. The duo held the attention of the audience before Santa encouraged his elves to come up and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with him. This brought elves and other children rushing to microphone. “A good time was had by all,” said city clerk Cheryl Safford.
The event wrapped up with Mayor Ricky Walker asking the choirs and performers to come back up and sing Silent Night as they lit the tree. After the tree was lit people were able to take pictures by the gazebo. “I like coming to Buckhead, it’s one of my favorite stops,” said Santa.