Christmas decorations going up

By Ed Brock

Mary Childs of Morrow likes the Christmas tree that Lake City is erecting in front of its city hall.

"I think it's a beautiful tree. I like that wire frame," Childs said.

It's just a little ? early.

"I'm really of the old school that you wait until Thanksgiving (weekend) to put up Christmas decorations," Childs said.

Lake City is one of several municipalities in Clayton County that have already taken out their Yuletide ornaments, and while some are waiting for Thanksgiving to actually light up the town, others say they have their reasons for the early start.

Lake City will hold its tree-lighting ceremony on Nov. 18 with singing by city employee Andy Aster along with local school children.

"It gets so crowded as far as people's calendars," said Lake City City Manager Jerry Garr. "We're just trying to pick a time that's convenient for everybody."

The city's Public Works Director Eddie Robinson started assembling the tree on Tuesday because it's only their second time using it. And last year Universal Concepts, the company that manufactures the nearly 54-foot high tree, assembled it for them.

"We want to make sure when the mayor goes to throw the switch that everything works," Robinson said.

Forest Park's Public Works Department has begun uncoiling that city's lights and decorations as well.

"It takes so long to get them out," Forest Park City Manager Bill Werner said. "We don't turn them on until Thanksgiving."

The city holds its Christmas Parade on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Last year they had between 850,000 and 925,000 lights that were strung up around the city streets and especially in Starr Park next door to city hall on Forest Parkway, said Mike Gippert, director of public works.

"We have a few pieces that have been broken that we're trying to redo to get them up," Gippert said.

They also plan to add some more lights along the fence in Starr Park.

Morrow hasn't quite gotten their lights and decorations out yet.

"We usually put them up about a week before and the week of Thanksgiving," Public Works Supervisor Glenn Hill said.

The lights include street decorations and lights for the city hall, the public works building and the Morrow Tourist Center on Jonesboro Road.

"We will have a beautiful Christmas tree here," said Lisa Sewell, the city's director of tourism.

Jonesboro will begin putting out its decorations next week, and on Nov. 20 the city will hold its "Holiday at Home" festival.

"People call it the Christmas parade, but it's the holiday parade," Jonesboro Main Street Director Kathryn Lookofsky said.

The festival will include the tree lighting, a visit from Santa Claus and arts and crafts vendors.

In Riverdale the city council has not yet discussed a date for its Christmas tree lighting or decking the town with boughs of holly, City Clerk Sandra Meyers said.