Follow the star to LaGrange, Georgia, for the 2015 holiday season

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Lee Cathey LaGrange Square at Night

Holiday wishes are coming true in LaGrange, Georgia, this year with special events that can’t be experienced anywhere else. Travel down I-85, an hour south of Atlanta, to make Christmas memories in one of the South’s most beautiful small towns. Kicking off the season is a special Holiday Concert of Praise and Thanksgiving by the Chorale Society of West Georgia, a long-standing community tradition, at First Presbyterian Church the weekend of November 21 and 22. Beginning that same weekend, free carriage rides are available through downtown each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also taking place the weekend before Thanksgiving are the festive shopping extravaganzas Holiday Open House in LaGrange and a Holiday Sip ‘N Shop in nearby Hogansville, with special sales, free gift wrapping and holiday refreshments.

Mingle with Kringle and his North Pole friends at LaGrange’s Christmas tree at the Chamber of Commerce Plaza before the city’s annual Christmas parade begins at 6 p.m. on December 3, drawing more than 10,000 spectators every year to see the lights and sparkles. This year the parade has a patriotic Star Spangled Christmas theme, so trade out your red, white and green for red, white and blue!

Follow the Bethlehem star to Explorations in Antiquity, soon to be renamed the Biblical History Center in 2016, a living history center focusing on the academic and archaeological science of life in ancient Israel during Biblical times with historically accurate life-size reproductions and a unique gallery filled with authentic antiquities on loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority. During the month of December, you can trace the journey of Mary and Joseph as they travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem and learn new insights into the Christmas story. Also available during December is the “Two Different Kings” Light and Sound Show, contrasting the difference between the world of King Herod and the character of the reign of King Jesus.

December 5 to 26, visit Hills and Dales Estate, the historic home and gardens of the Callaway Family, to enjoy holiday celebrations as the family used to, with festive decorations and Christmas cookies. Kids can participate in a special holiday celebration on December 19, by decorating gingerbread houses, crafting Christmas ornaments, and time with Santa, all included in an entrance ticket to the Estate.

If you go

Check out these festive events happening all holiday season:

A Concert of Praise and Thanksgiving
Saturday, November 21, 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 22, 5:30 p.m.
1st Presbyterian Church, LaGrange.  This concert has become a community tradition.
The Choral Society of West Georgia,

Holiday Carriage Rides
Each Friday, Saturday & Sunday begins November 20 through December 20
Friday, 5-9 p.m.
Saturday, 1-5 p.m.
Sunday, 2-5 p.m.
Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through Downtown LaGrange, courtesy of Downtown Partners & Merchants.
Rides start at the corner of S. LaFayette Square and Bull Street
Downtown LaGrange Development Authority: (706) 298-4534
Free/Public Welcome, Tipping encouraged ($5-$10)

Sip ‘N Shop
Saturday, November 21, 5-9 p.m.
Start your holiday shopping at Hogansville’s “Sip ‘N Shop,” where Hogansville’s Antiques and Variety Shops will be open for evening shopping.
Main Street, Historic Downtown Hogansville
Mary Stewart – (706) 333-2520,

Holiday Open House
November 22, 1-5 p.m.
Come enjoy Downtown LaGrange for shopping, special sales, complimentary giftwrapping, and a Christmas wreath silent auction as you stroll from shop to shop.
Downtown LaGrange Development Authority: (706) 298-4534
Free/ Public Welcome

The Rimers of Eldritch By Lanford Wilson
Directed by Kim Barber Knoll
December 2, 3, 4, 5
Dec. 2, 3, 4: Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5 matinee: 2:30 p.m.
Come enjoy this murder mystery, set in 1966 in a dying mining town for a tale that captures the essence of love and longing, and deeply hidden moral corruptness.
The Lab – at Price Theater: 304 Forrest Ave. LaGrange, GA 30240
(706) 880-8080 Box Office or
$10 Adult tickets, $8 non-LaGrange College Students/Senior Citizens

Mingle with Kringle
December 3, 3-5 p.m.
Bring your camera and meet Santa and his North Pole friends at LaGrange’s Big Christmas Tree before the parade begins.
Chamber of Commerce Plaza
Downtown LaGrange Development Authority
Free/Public Welcome

LaGrange Christmas Parade
December 3, 6 p.m.
The LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to participate in the annual Christmas parade! Kickoff the holiday season as we celebrate a Star Spangled Christmas with the parade through the streets of Downtown LaGrange.

Gifts of the Magi
December 3-5
8 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. Matinee on Saturday
Enjoy a wonderful Christmas Musical for the whole family.
New Horizon Theatre; 411 W 8th St; West Point
Tickets: (706) 518-6234, $16 Adults; $13 Students and Senior Citizens (55+)

The Nutcracker – Ballet
Friday, December 4, 7 p.m.
Saturday December 5, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 6, 2 p.m.
Start your holiday season with one of the most popular ballets in history, and a Christmas classic.
Troup High School Fine Arts Auditorium
LSPA: (706) 882-9909
Reserved Seating: Adults $20; Children $10.
General Admission Seating: Adults $15; Children $8

Point University Christmas Concerts
December 4 & 5
Friday: 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Saturday: 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Spring Road Christian Church

Follow the Shepherds Walks
December 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 24
Evenings 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 8:15 p.m.
Follow the journey of Joseph and Mary as they travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem and learn new insights into the Christmas story.
The Biblical History Center: 130 Gordon Commercial Drive, LaGrange, GA 30240
(706) 885-0363
$15 Adults; $12 Children ages 6-12 (includes the Sound and Light show at no additional charge.)

“Two Different Kings” Sound and Light Show
December 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 24
7:30 p.m.
This multimedia Sound and Light show in the Roman theater will contrast the difference between the world of King Herod and the character of the reign of King Jesus.
The Biblical History Center: 130 Gordon Commercial Drive, LaGrange, GA 30240
(706) 885-0363
$15 Adults; $12 Children (includes the Sound and Light show at no additional charge.)

Annual Hogansville Christmas Parade
December 5
Story Telling – 5 p.m., Tree Lighting – 5:30 p.m., Parade – 6 p.m.
Come enjoy Hogansville’s annual Christmas parade for a storytelling session, Tree Lighting, and the Christmas Bazaar on Main Street.
Hogansville Merchants Association: (706) 302-0026,

Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, featuring the LaGrange College Chamber Singers
December 6, 7:30 p.m.
Come be inspired by the readings and music of the Christmas the holiday season with Dr. Beth Everett as director.
Callaway Auditorium or (706) 880-8351
Free, no reservation needed.

Hills & Dales Holidays: A Christmas Tradition
December 5 to 26
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Join us for our Christmas celebration at the Callaway family home and the visitor center for Christmas decorations and cookies., Regular tour prices apply: Adults $15; Children over 6 $7

Santa at the Square
Saturdays in December – 5, 12, and 26, 1 to 4 p.m.
Be sure to bring your wish list and camera for a visit with Santa.
LaFayette Square (weather permitting)
Rain location: Santa will be in a downtown business location.
Downtown LaGrange Development Authority: (706) 298-4534
Free/Public Welcome

Cocoa and Carols
December 13, 7 p.m.
Join us for a wonderful caroling event for the whole community.
Scott Fine Arts Center
Free/Public Welcome

LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert
December 15, 7:30 p.m.
Holiday presence! A glittering, wonderfully captured celebratory spirit of Christmas, with special guests the LaGrange-area High School Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Beth Everett.
Callaway Auditorium – (706) 882-0662

Children’s Christmas Celebration
December 19, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Join Hills & Dales for our ninth annual Children’s Christmas Celebration. Activities will include decorating gingerbread houses, crafting Christmas ornaments, and Santa, and Christmas snacks.
Hills & Dales Estate, 1916 Hills and Dales Drive
Children’s activities are free.