Christmas parade changes route

WINDER - For more than 20 years, high school bands have been marching through downtown Winder to celebrate Christmas, leading the way for floats and the arrival of Santa Claus.

This Tuesday, the route of the annual Christmas parade will be a little different, but the spirit of the event will remain the same.

The parade, sponsored by the Barrow County Chamber of Commerce, has a Christmas in the U.S.A. theme, Chamber Vice President Debi Krause said. About 30 states will be made into floats for the occasion, with Georgia and Louisiana as the first states claimed.

John Mobley, a former mayor of Winder and former state representative, will act as the parade's grand marshal on its path from Winder-Barrow High School to the Winder Community Center. The normal route, which started at Ingles, was switched because of construction at the store.

"We'll have a different kind of view this year," Krause said.

About 60 individuals and groups will be participating in the parade, including the marching bands of both Apalachee and Winder-Barrow High Schools. Krause said she expected crowds to line the street to see the floats and drink hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

Downtown businesses will be open during the parade, though Broad Street will be closed. Krause, who was planning the parade for the first time this year, said she's looking forward to the evening.

"It's right exciting," she said. "We're going to be busy next week. The Chamber's gonna be hopping."