ALBANY — As the song says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

It’s that magical time of year again. Albany and other southwest Georgia communities already have started dressing up the streets in their Christmas best for the year’s most festive period — Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

Many towns “officially” light their city decorations on Thanksgiving night, but none with more pageantry than Moultrie. From there, there are train rides, bell choirs, symphonic performances, holiday concerts and lots of lights.

Here is a snapshot of events going on in Albany and southwest Georgia during, as another Christmas song describes it, “the most wonderful time of the year.”

NOV. 24-DEC. 31Flowers Foods’ Christmas Lights Drive-Through

When: 6 to 10 p.m.

Where: Flowers Foods, 1919 Flowers Circle, Thomasville

The drive-thru holiday light display, Flowers Foods’ annual gift to the community, has been completely refurbished with 24 new exhibits and thousands of additional lights in celebration of the company’s 100-year anniversary.

NOV. 26Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Albany Museum of Art, 311 Meadowlark Drive, Albany

Wow your guests with a Thanksgiving centerpiece that can hold its own with that fabulous dinner you are serving. All you need to bring is a container. Cost: $45 for AMA members, $55 for non-members. Call (229) 439-8400.

THANKSGIVING, NOV. 28Lights! Lights! Thanksgiving Night

When: 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Moultrie

Many downtown Moultrie shops open at 4 p.m. Live music, shopping, food, live reindeer, pony rides and kids’ activities. Santa arrives at 6 p.m. and lights the extensive downtown canopy of Christmas lights.

NOV. 30Christmas Lighting

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Downtown Plains

Annual lighting of downtown Christmas lights in President Carter’s hometown.

DEC. 1-26Seminole Tour of Lights

When: 6 to 10 p.m.

Where: Seminole State Park, Donalsonville

Drive through the park decorated like a Winter Wonderland filled with holiday lights. $5 parking.

DEC. 2Thomasville Christmas Parade

When: 6:30 p.m., Downtown Thomasville

The theme for this year’s parade is “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.”

DEC. 3Camilla Christmas Parade

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown Camilla

The 25th annual Camilla Christmas Parade has the theme “The Magic of Christmas.”

A Christmas to Treasure

When: 7 p.m.

Where: ABAC Chapel, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton

ABAC music ensembles gather to give the Tifton Community a night of holiday music. This concert will feature many of ABAC’s music ensembles such as The Chamber Singers, Jazz Choir, Jazz Band, and the music faculty. All proceeds benefit ABAC music student scholarships. Cost: $10, general admission; $5, children under 11. Call (229) 391-4945.

DEC. 5Holiday Tour of Homes

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Theatre Albany, 514 Pine Ave., Albany

Tour begins at Theatre Albany and includes residences of Don Fisher, Gennie and Scott Marcus, and Kim Johnson, as well as Thronateeska Heritage Center and the final stop, iHeart Media, where food and fun continues 8 to 10 p.m. Cost: $25 per person, 12 and under free. Visit

Americus Christmas Parade

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Americus

More than 70 units, including local high school bands, fill the streets for this annual event.

Yuletide Jubilee

When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown Bainbridge

Event includes shopping, dining, live music, family games and activities, and the lighting of the town Christmas Tree.

Cairo Christmas Parade

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Cairo

The annual Cairo parade includes marching bands, beauty queens, horses, dozens of decorated floats, and Santa Claus.

DEC. 5-7, 12-14North Pole Express

When: 5 to 8:20 p.m.

Where: ABAC Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, Tifton

The museum’s 1917 Vulcan steam locomotive will depart for the North Pole every 20 minutes. Guests will be able to listen to Mrs. Claus read the holiday classic “The Polar Express” in the Clyatt Cabin before boarding the North Pole Express to visit Santa Claus and enjoy the movie version of “The Polar Express” in a winter wonderland. Tickets: $10 per person (2 and younger free) and must be purchased in advance. Call (229) 391-5205 or

DEC. 6Sylvester Christmas Open House and Parade

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Downtown Sylvester

Shopping and activities downtown 4 to 6 p.m. “Share the Gift of Christmas” parade starts at 6:30 p.m. After the parade, there will be entertainment at the Train Depot on Front Street with Santa available for pictures with kids.

DEC. 6-7, 13-15

Annie Jr.

When: 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees 2 p.m.

Where: Theatre Albany, 514 Pine Ave., Albany

This year’s holiday musical production features a cast 18 and younger performing the story of an orphan and her dog adopted by a wealthy businessman. Info and tickets:

DEC. 6-24, 26-31Festival of Lights

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road, Albany

The annual lights show returns with a new route. Drive-thru only nights (Dec. 6-11, 16-18, 26-31) are $8 per car for Chehaw members and $10 per car for non-members. Premium nights with drive-thru, train rides, visit with Santa, Sugar Shack and activities (Dec, 12-15 and 18-24) are $10 per car for members and $15 per car for non-members. Train rides are $5 per person, free for 3 and under.

DEC. 6-7, 11, 14, 20Candy Express Train Ride

When: 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Where: SAM Shortline Train, Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele

Enjoy a popular excursion with a 70-minute layover in Plains. The town will be all dressed in its Christmas wrappings. Free candy canes for every passenger, and Santa will be aboard for the ride. Additional holiday rides are planned through December. Call (229) 276-0755 for ticket info.

DEC. 7Breakfast with Santa

When: 8 to 10 a.m.

Where: Carnegie Library, 334 Main St. N.E., Dawson

The Terrell County Historic Preservation Society hosts its fourth annual Breakfast with Santa. Tickets: $15 per child, including breakfast buffet and a digital photo with Santa; parents eat free. Call (229) 938-6521.

Spirit of Christmas Parade & Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Downtown Leesburg

Parade for 31st annual event starts at 10 a.m. on Main Street with festival following on Starksville Avenue. Includes vendors, entertainment, food, pet parade, children’s play area and activities.

Celebration of Lights Christmas Parade

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Downtown Albany

The 29th annual Celebration of Lights parade has the theme “A Storybook Christmas.” Visit the Christmas Village before and after the parade, which features Santa Claus on the closing float.

Christmas Village

When: 4 to 9 p.m.

Where: 100 block of Pine Avenue, Downtown Albany

Stroll through the streets of downtown Albany filled with beautiful decorations, specialty shops, holiday performances and vendors selling Christmas items before the start of the annual Christmas Parade at 7 p.m. Don’t miss the free ice skating.

Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration

When: 5 to 10 p.m.

Where: Main Street, Tifton

The 21st annual holiday festival comes to downtown Tifton starting with the 5 p.m. Christmas parade. Festivities begin after the parade and include carnival rides, live entertainment and free ice skating.

Spirit of Christmas Harvest Festival

When: 2 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown Donalsonville

Inclement weather forced a delay of the fall harvest festival that is being combined with downtown Donalsonville’s Spirit of Christmas parade and events as a family-friendly kickoff to the holiday season in Seminole County.

DEC. 12Home for Christmas

When: 7 p.m.

Where: First United Methodist Church of Albany, 307 Flint Ave., Albany

The Albany Chorale’s annual holiday concert includes Christmas and Hanukkah favorites and audience sing-along. Tickets: $15, advance; $20, at the door; 18 and under free. Advance tickets at Parker Music.

A Christmas to Remember

When: 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Moultrie

The annual Moultrie Christmas parade.

2019 Christmas Parade

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Downtown Bainbridge

The annual Bainbridge Christmas parade.

DEC. 12-13TOSAC presents Wanderlust’s “A Christmas Carol”

When: 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Lapham-Patterson House Historic Site, 626 N. Dawson St., Thomasville

Thomasville On Stage and Company presents an intimate, immersive adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” staged on the hour 5 to 9 p.m. Book for the time slot you’d like to attend. Audience is limited to 30 per performance. (This is a promenade performance, and audience will be standing for the duration of the 40-minute show, though accommodations can be made for wheelchair users and those less able to stand.)

Victorian Christmas

When: 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Thomasville

The 33rd annual Victorian Christmas will take you back in time to Thomasville’s Victorian past. Stroll the bricks and be entertained by performers, carolers and musicians. Shop, dine, and welcome the holiday season in Downtown Thomasville. Free, with carriage rides $5 per person.

DEC. 13John Berry’s Christmas Show

When: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St., Albany

John Berry’s 23rd annual Christmas tour comes to the Good Life City. Tickets $32 to $52 on Ticketmaster.

North Pole Express

When: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: SAM Shortline Railroad, Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele

Christmas train ride to the Downtown Cordele Depot to visit with Santa. Downtown Cordele’s “Winter Wonderland” will feature activities for the kids, including bouncy houses and a real snow slide. Call (229) 276-0755 for ticket info.

DEC. 14Peppermint Pops: “Hansel and Gretel”

Matinee concert: 11 a.m.

Evening concert: 7:30 p.m. Where: ASU West Campus

2400 Gillionville Road, Albany

The Albany Symphony Orchestra brings to life Engelbert Humperdinck’s musical score for the Grimm brother’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Join singers, chorus, dancers and orchestra for this presentation in the theater on the West Campus of Albany State University. Morning matinee is preceded at 10 a.m. by the Instrument Petting Zoo, during which kids can try out symphonic instruments. Tickets for matinee: $15 ($10 with canned food donation). Evening performance tickets: reserved, $35; general admission, $25; students and military, $10. Visit

Poulan Christmas Parade

When: 11 a.m.

Where: Downtown Poulan

The Christmas parade is at 11 a.m., followed in the city park with “Christmas in the Park,” an annual celebration to bring the community together to enjoy the spirit of Christmas with family fun activities and a visit from Santa.

Visit with Your Favorite Characters

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Downtown Moultrie

Bring the kids and camera and let them visit with their favorite holiday characters.

Christmas in Downtown

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Leslie

Holiday event includes daytime market and parade at 7 p.m.

Wreaths Across America

Where: Andersonville National Cemetery, 760 POW Road, Andersonville

Take part in the annual wreath-laying ceremony to honor fallen veterans. The goal is 15,000 wreaths.

“‘Twas the Night Before


When: 11 a.m. and noon

Where: Thomasville Center for the Arts, 600 E. Washington St., Thomasville

The Thomasville Entertainment Foundation’s Family Series presents the children’s musical “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” complete with a jolly Santa, reindeer on the roof and sugarplums dancing in the dreams of hopeful children. Presented by the Virginia Repertory Theatre, admission is free and open to the public.

DEC. 14-15, 20-21“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

When: 2 p.m. Dec. 14,15 and 21; 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 20 and 21

Where: 117 S. Broad St., Thomasville

Thomasville On Stage and Company’s (TOSAC) Storefront Theater presents the holiday comedy about unruly siblings involved in their school’s Christmas play. Tickets, call (220) 226-0863.

DEC. 16Home for Christmas

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Leesburg United Methodist Church, 117 Starksville Ave. N., Leesburg

The Albany Chorale’s annual holiday concert encore includes Christmas and Hanukkah favorites and audience sing-along. Tickets: $15, advance; $20, at the door; 18 and under free. Advance tickets at Parker Music.

DEC. 19St. Paul’s Handbell Choir

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 212 N. Jefferson St., Albany

Bells and Christmas go together. St. Paul’s Handbell Choir has a special holiday concert. Free admission, but donations for St. Paul’s Ladles of Love, a weekly meal program for the homeless and less fortunate, will be accepted.

DEC. 21Holidays in My PJs pARTy

When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Albany Museum of Art, 311 Meadowlark Drive, Albany

While you finish up last-minute shopping or just take a break for a relaxing brunch, your child creates memorable holiday gifts, watches a movie, makes reindeer food and gets in the holiday spirit. Kids are welcome to come in their PJs. Cost: $15 for AMA members, $20 for non-members. Call (229) 439-8400.

The Nightmare Before Christmas with TSG

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Merry Acres Event Center, 1504 Dawson Road, Albany

This Solid Ground with guests Poser and The Giving End perform. Tickets available at Good Life Vapor and Trademark Body Art.

DEC. 24Breakfast with Santa Train Ride

When: 8:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m.

Where: SAM Shortline Train, Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele

Enjoy a special breakfast and train ride over Lake Blackshear with Santa aboard the SAM Shortline Train. Includes meal and games and activities at the depot. Cost: $19.99 to $29.99. (NOTE: 10:15 a.m. train has sold out.) Call (229) 276-0755.

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