Gwinnett County's cities are celebrating Christmas on Dec. 3



December has finally arrived and several cities are eager to celebrate the holidays with parades, festivals and Santa Claus on Saturday.

Loganville has its annual Christmas Parade, which has grown larger from last year. The theme for the parade is "Through the Eyes of a Child" and it will feature three school bands, three horse groups, two dance companies, pageant queens, various clubs and groups, and many area businesses.

Retiring co-directors of the Shepherd Staff, Bonnie and Joe Johnson are honored this year as the parade's grand marshals. Santa Claus joins the festivities by riding on top of a fire truck waving at the girls and boys.

All attendees are asked to bring canned goods to the parade. The donations will be given to the Shepherd Staff.

The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of Bay Creek Elementary at 100 Homer Moon Road, heads up Ga. Highway 81 and then turns onto Main Street to head downtown. For more information, visit www.loganville-ga.gov.

The city of Lilburn also has a Christmas parade planned with Chopper, the mascot for the Gwinnett Braves, leading the way as this year's grand marshal.

After the parade, there will be live music, hot concessions and pictures with Santa in Lilburn City Park at 76 Main St.

"The city of Lilburn is proud to co-host the annual Christmas Parade with the Lilburn Business Association once again this year," Mayor Diane Preston said. "The weather will be great, and we are looking forward to the biggest and best ever parade."

All guests are asked to bring canned goods for donation to the Lilburn Cooperative Ministry. The parade begins at 10 a.m. along Main Street. For more information, visit www.cityoflilburn.com.

Sugar Hill invites all residents to attend the eighth Annual Holiday Celebration in the Sugar Hill Community Center at 1166 Church St. There will be train and horse carriage rides, free photos with the big man, Santa Claus and Christmas caroling by local elementary school children.

The city's tree will be lit as it get becomes dark outside. Think it will be chilly? Sugar Hill will pass out free hot cider to keep people warm, plus cookies and goodies bags until supplies run out.

The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All attendees should plan to park at E.E. Robinson Park at 900 Level Creek Road. Shuttles will be provided because there is no parking at the community center. For more information, call Recreation Services at 770-831-7413.

In Buford, the city is celebrating the holidays with a parade, which begins at 2 p.m. outside of Tannery Row at 554 W. Main St. and ends at the Festival Amphitheater area in front of Bona Allen Mansion at 395 E. Main St. Phil Neiko serves as this year's grand marshal.

At the festival, residents can watch live performances, including karate demonstrations, gymnastic routines and chorus and band concerts. There will be more than 80 vendors selling art, crafts and food. The tree will be lit soon after sundown.

The festival and parade are on Main Street from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, visit www.visitbuford.com.