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Gwinnett cities offer events kicking off the Christmas season

LAWRENCEVILLE - The holiday season is upon us already and Gwinnett's event calendar is filled with festivals, parades, tree lightings and more. Here's a look at what's happening in Gwinnett at the start of this holiday season.

Today

Stone Mountain Village will hold it's annual Christmas celebration from 4 to 8:30 p.m. today, featuring the new Stone Mountain Market, offering crafts, baked goods and gifts. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m., and a live performance by the Ruby Red's Band will follow. Santa will light the official Stone Mountain Christmas tree and fireworks will begin at 8 p.m. For more information on this event, call Main Street Stone Mountain at 770-498-7334 or e-mail mainstreetstone@bellsouth.net.

Monday

The city of Dacula will light its Christmas tree at 7 p.m. Monday on Second Avenue in downtown Dacula. For more information on this event, call 770-963-7451.

Snellville will hold its 27th annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 2342 Oak Road. For more information on the event, call 770-985-3500.

Dec. 5

Lilburn will kick off its Festival of Christmas at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree at the city park, 76 Main St. A Christmas concert will follow at 8 at the First Baptist Church of Lilburn, 285 Main St. Proceeds from Lilburn's Festival of Christmas will benefit the Lilburn Cooperative Ministry and other local nonprofit organizations. For more information on this event, visit www.lilburnparade.org.

Santa will arrive in Norcross as the city tree lighting begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Thrasher Park, 1 Park Drive N.W. The event will include caroling by the Hopewell Baptist Church Chorus and free carriage rides. For more information, call 770-448-2122.

The city of Suwanee will celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with its Old Town Holiday Festival and Caboose Lighting from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in Old Town. For more information, call 770-945-8996.

Dec. 6

The city of Lilburn will continue its Festival of Christmas with a parade at 10 a.m. Dec. 6. The parade route will run along Main Street and end at the city park, 76 Main St., where Christmas in the Park will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The city of Buford will celebrate the holiday season Dec. 6 with its annual festival and parade. The event begins at 11 a.m. and the lighting of the city tree will commence at 5:30 p.m. The parade will kick off at Tannery Row at 2:30 p.m. and proceed down Main Street. The festival will be held at the amphitheater area at the end of Main Street in front of the Bona Allen mansion. Visit www.visitbuford.com for more information on this event.

The city of Duluth will host its fifth annual Hometown Holidays Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 6, featuring vendors, food, children's activities and entertainment. The city will light its Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m. For more information on this event, e-mail events@duluthga.net.

Dec. 7

Duluth will continue its Hometown Holidays Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 7. The event will feature the first-ever holiday bake-off, with the chance to win $500. Bake-off contestants will be divided into two age groups, those age 12 and older and those younger than 12. Applications to participate in the bake-off should be submitted by Nov. 28. For more information on this event, e-mail events@duluthga.net.

Dec. 13

Christmas in the Park will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13 at Suwanee's Town Center Park at the intersection of Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. For more information on this event, call 770-945-1524.

Dec. 14

Christmas in the Park will continue from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14 at Suwanee's Town Center Park at the intersection of Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. For more information on this event, call 770-945-1524.

Ongoing event

Christmas on the Square begins Dec. 5 and runs Friday through Sunday through Dec. 21. The event will include visit with Santa, self-guided courthouse tours and crafts from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 W. Crogan St. in downtown Lawrenceville.