SUSAN LARSON: Christmas season kicks off with plenty of choices

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

Anyone who's pro-choice about life in general is sure to love the local offerings for the Christmas season. On Friday, the Gwinnett Braves mascot, Chopper leads off at noon in the true spirit of the season with the Salvation Army's Can-a-Thon at Discover Mills. The season kicks off in Duluth that night with a downtown walk themed "The Art of Christmas Windows," with an opportunity to meet the artists.

In Lawrenceville, Friday brings a Winter Wonderland Dance and Saturday events include a Civil War Holiday and Snowflake/Cupcake Fun. Norcross and Sugar Hill begin weekend carriage rides on Saturday and Suwanee hosts a Caboose Lighting at 5 p.m.

Also on Saturday, the Gwinnett Braves pitch in for the hungry with Bake-Around-the-Bases, with choices of homemade holiday treats for fans to purchase with all proceeds benefiting the Gwinnett Food Co-ops.

If you love a parade, at 10 a.m. you can choose between the Lilburn Parade, with Kimberly Gittings, Miss Georgia USA as grand marshall or the John's Creek Founders Day Parade, where NASCAR's No. 20 Home Depot car and Homer the Brave are among the attractions. When those parades are over, there's plenty of time either to drive up to Buford for their 2:30 p.m. parade featuring Chopper or out to Winder's parade which begins at 4 p.m.

If you'd rather spend your Saturday indoors, there's still plenty to do. You can start off with Breakfast with Santa at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. Then for the afternoon, enjoy the sights and sounds of the Suwanee Youth Ballet and Sounds of Suwanee at the Gingerbread Festival.

At 7 p.m., hear Gwinnett Choral Guild sing your favorite carols in new and old arrangements in "Light Divine: Illuminate Our Darkness" at Buford First United Methodist Church. Georgia author Fran Stewart joins the Guild to present the story of Christmas through the eyes of diverse peoples.

If theatre is your thing, throughout December your kids (and the kid in you) will love Gwinnett's Parks production of "Grandma Got Ran Over by a What?" and all the cute things onstage at the Aurora Theatre, which is also presenting its traditional "Christmas Canteen" and "One-Man Christmas Carol." New Dawn Theater's "Miracle on 34th Street" in Duluth, ART Station's "It's a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play" in Stone Mountain and New London Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" in Snellville will be showing for the next three weeks as well as "Nutcracker Suite" at the Gwinnett Center.

If you choose to stroll rather than sit, check out exhibits of G-scale model railroads at George Pierce Park and the St. Nicholas exhibit at The Hudgens Art Center.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.