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Illumination Celebration, community Thanksgiving service kick off holiday season tonight

The holiday season officially begins here Wednesday evening with the annual Community Thanksgiving service and Illumination Celebration in downtown Barnesville. The Thanksgiving service, hosted by the Lamar County Ministerial Association, begins at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. A welcome will be offered by Barnesville mayor Peter Banks. Music will be provided by the LCHS Travel Ensemble directed by NaToya Fletcher, the FUMC Chancel Bell Choir, FUMC organist Wayne Cook and pianist Jan Baker. A sermon will be delivered by Rev. Kevin Thomas. Additional clergy with parts in the program include Craig Ogletree, Garth Forster, Karen Mitcham, Jeff Morgan and Cyndi McDonald. School superintendent Jute Wilson will offer a scripture reading. After the service, the crowd will move downtown where Greg Burrell will lead a Christmas music sing-a-long and the First Baptist choir, Christ Chapel choir and Ozier School dancers will perform. Cory McCook will offer a welcome and announce the winners of the gingerbread house competition. Mayor Banks will again offer greetings and Forster will read ‘˜The Christmas Story’. Belinda Penamon will sing ‘˜O Holy Night’. Eddie Collier will offer a closing prayer and then Santa will arrive as Greg Burrell leads the singing of ‘˜Here Comes Santa Claus’. The downtown Christmas Tree was donated by Alan Hudson and decorated by members of The Women’s League. The Azalea Garden Club once again decorated downtown with greenery, bows and ribbons.

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