Staff Photo: John Bohn Julia and Jessica Newsom, of Lilburn, throw candy to the crowds attending a Christmas parade on Main Street in Lilburn on Saturday.
LILBURN -- Akhaila Horne, 8, was a little concerned that Santa didn't get her letter this year. But she knew just who to ask.
Akhaila cozied up to Eddie the Elf just moments after he parachuted into Lilburn City Park, who assured her that his boss takes care to read every request for Christmas.
Eddie's arrival Saturday was the highlight of this year's annual parade, even after Santa Claus took a ride down Main Street.
"He came from the North Pole," Claire Calvert, 8, said of Eddie's arrival. "It was awesome."
The 6,000-foot jump came as a band sang Christmas carols: "Do you see what I see?"
The sounds of the season were heard from local marching bands, with Berkmar's group wearing blue elf hats to match their uniforms, and from hundreds of calls of Merry Christmas.
As the classic cars, trucks and floats cruised down the street, Barbary Singletary Jr., 5, took a runner's starting line stance, ready to rush out as Mayor Johnny Crist threw candy to the crowd.
Dawn Squibb petted her goldendoodle Ginger, who wore antlers for the occasion.
"She's meant for this kind of thing," Squibb said of the dog, who is training to be a special-needs dog and brings great comfort to Squibb's 14-year-old son Royal, who is autistic. Royal had a lot of fun himself. "You like the trucks, don't you?" his mom said.
With Boy Scouts dressed up as cars from the Pinewood Derby and Girl Scouts looking cherubic as angels, the parade boasted local stars, like the teachers of the year and principals from local schools. The grand marshal was Bryan Shepherd, the owner of the local Chick-fil-A, who was escorted by the restaurant's cow mascot.
Sydney Taylor, 9, said a lot goes into making her Girl Scout troop's float each year. Starting last month, the girls from Troop 1690 began converting last year's gingerbread house into Santa's workshop. They painted some wooden reindeer to attach to the top, and added a bulb for Rudolph.
"We learned how to sew when we were making the costumes," she said of her red and green elf outfit.
While she is earning a badge for the endeavor, the best part is the parade itself, she said.
"I like seeing all the people's happy faces when they get all the candy," she said.