Holiday cheer. Thousands of excited faces. The priceless joy of children. Early shopping. And even an appearance from Saint Nick and his reindeer.
It can only mean one thing: Christmas is just around the corner, and downtown Moultrie is bringing in the season in style.
For over 60 years, the annual event known as the “Canopy of Lights” officially kicks off the countdown to Christmas in Moultrie. Keeping in line with tradition, the event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. and is led by none other than Santa Claus himself.
“We have data showing that the inaugural Canopy of Lights celebration took place sometime in the 1940s,” says Amy Johnson, Main Street/Marketing Director. “The event has gradually grown, and each year we look forward to the joy that comes along with lighting up the city.”
The original event was merely a small sample of what it has grown to be in 2015. For the first few years, the lights were only found on corners within the city. Now the lights have multiplied tremendously; the total has ballooned to over 10,000 lights, covering nine blocks within downtown Moultrie.
“The event is much more than simply turning on lights,” Johnson says. “It also allows people to get a jump start on Christmas shopping. Stores open up around 4:00 so that people can look around before the actual event begins. Around 6:00, Santa Claus and his reindeer make their way in, and they lead everyone in a countdown as we turn on the lights.”
Although the canopy lighting takes place on Thanksgiving night, the events that surround it continue for weeks after. This year, there will be a cornhole tournament, a holiday stage show, and a snow slide (complete with real snow) to accompany the annual Christmas parade.
For Moultrie natives and holiday enthusiasts alike, the Canopy of Lights is more than a one-night event. It is a tradition, an expected treat, and a way of life.
For more information regarding holiday events in Moultrie, visit downtownmoultrie.com or their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DowntownMoultrieGA.
Canopy of Lights
Moultrie Brings in Holiday Season with Annual Light Display
By James Washington
Photography courtesy of www.pinterest.com