It’s that time of year again when the lights go up, the reindeer come out, and the town settles into the Christmas spirit. Downtown LaGrange has exploded with life recently, with people out enjoying the holiday shopping and all of the other wonderful amenities that are offered in LaGrange and Troup County every year at this time. The new Sweetland on Ice skating rink, the wonderful shopping opportunities, horse drawn carriage rides, and a myriad of other fun, exciting things await all who visit downtown LaGrange during the holidays. One more annual tradition is on the way, set for the afternoon of Thursday, November 30th and will be sure to delight as it does each and every year.
This upcoming Thursday it is once again time for the 41st annual Christmas Parade through the downtown area. The parade will kick off at 6 pm as it wraps itself around the downtown square and through the historic streets of LaGrange. The parade will begin at Granger Park and continue through North Greenwood, Haralson, Church, Bull, Broome, and finally towards Main and Ridley streets. The Chamber expects over 100 floats to participate in this year’s parade, with several local businesses taking part in the fun as they do every year. The parade is sponsored by the LaGrange/ Troup County Chamber of Commerce and is always one of the most heavily attended events of the year.
This year’s Grand Marshals in the parade highlight the progress and social change that has occurred in our community over the course of 2017. Carl Von Epps is a former State Representative for District 132, a position he held for 20 years. Ricky Wolfe is a former chairman of the County Commissioners. Together, they have been working on race relations in LaGrange and have made some amazing progress. Working in conjunction with one another, they’ve helped to form the Racial Trust Building Initiative, a collective created in order to “expand the global conversation about racial reconciliation and trust building”. Their group has held seminars and classes that have been very beneficial to those that have taken part in the program. In addition, the group highlights other communities that are attempting to find a way to get their citizens involved in repairing racial lines. Von Epps and Wolfe will serve as this year’s Grand Marshals as the parade rolls through downtown.
This year’s parade theme, “Let There be Peace on Earth,” (inspired by a 1955 song), is the perfect backdrop not only for the Grand Marshals but the entirety of the community, a community that is different from so many others. Troup County is a place of love, acceptance, and growth that continues to expand each and every year. There is no doubt that all of the growth we are experiencing as a community is in no small part due to the people that live here that are so kind and welcoming to everyone. The annual Christmas parade is the perfect time of year to showcase what makes us who we are.