40 years of Christmas

Published 10:25 am Friday, December 2, 2016

LaGRANGE – On Thursday night, the City of LaGrange celebrated Christmas with its 40th annual Christmas parade.

The night got started with face painting and pictures with Santa and his North Pole helpers at LaFayette Plaza in front of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, followed by the tree lighting by this year’s parade grand marshal, Jane Fryer and her family.

“Jane (Fryer) came to work here at the chamber of commerce in 1973 and worked here for 35 years, until her retirement in 2008,” said LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton. “I can safely say that nothing that happened that was good in this town and this county in those 35 years happened without Jane’s influence and without Jane’s work and dedication. … Jane started this annual tradition of this Christmas parade 40 years ago. … She ran the parade for 32 years before her retirement, so it is very fitting that she be here tonight, and that she be serving as our grand marshal.”

Fryer recognized the hard work of the chamber staff, both past and present, with making the parade a success through the years.

“It is such a great honor to be here tonight representing the chamber of commerce and all of the people that have worked on the parade over the years,” said Fryer. “I truly did not do it by myself. As Page (Estes) will tell you, it takes a lot of people to make a parade happen, but once it’s over it is the best thing that ever happened.”

The parade started at Granger Park just after sunset and wound through downtown to an excited crowd who lined the streets, despite temperatures in the 40s.

“It’s always a wonderful occasion for me as mayor to come out and to see the diversity of our community, to see all the ages gathered together to celebrate this Christmas season,” said Thornton. “It really is something that I think we do well in LaGrange.”

Hogansville’s Christmas Parade is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. in downtown Hogansville.

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.