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Illumination brings solemnity, song, shimmer and Santa

Santa Claus is coming to downtown Barnesville on Wednesday to delight kids of all ages during the traditional Illumination Celebration. The night will begin with a community- wide church service at 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Thomaston Street. It will be conducted by members of the Ministerial Association including the Revs. Lonnie Grant, Ariana Eberle, Garth Forster, Dana Overton-Garrett, Jimmy Fambro, and Craig Ogletree. Special music will be provided by Wayne Cook, the Antioch Trio, Jan Baker and the Rev. John Cox. The Illumination Celebration starts at 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of Main, Market and Taylor Streets. There will be Christmas caroling, dancing, the reading of the Christmas story, the lighting of the trees downtown and the first appearance of Santa Claus. Pictures with Santa will be offered by Jan Hatten at Reflections Photography on Zebulon Street. The chamber of commerce reactivated the Christmas merchant passport promotion for people to use at local businesses. Passports are available at the chamber office and can be stamped by participating merchants and then entered into drawings for $25, $50 or $100 based on the number of stamps on the passport. The drawings will be held Wednesday. Merchants have decorated their windows along the Charlie Brown Christmas theme. There are two contests being held in conjunction with the Illumination Celebration. The gingerbread house competition and Charlie Brown Christmas tree contest are open to the public. Entry forms are available at the chamber, Pastime Grill and Slices Pizzeria. Gingerbread houses and Charlie Brown trees will be on display and available for judging at 217 Main Street. Stop by before 6:30 p.m. to vote. Winners will be announced during the ceremony.

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