Deep South USA Blog

The holiday season in Athens, Georgia, offers opportunities for endless celebrations! Visitors can enjoy festive heritage events, artist markets for one-of-a-kind gifts and, as always in Athens, live music.

Downtown Christmas Parade of Lights, Athens, Georgia

The Downtown Christmas Parade of Lights ushers in the holiday season in Athens. This popular event gives visitors and participants the opportunity to enjoy an evening parade in Downtown Athens while it is decorated for the Christmas season. Dozens of floats, bands and groups will wind through downtown streets awash in twinkling lights. Each year has a different theme, with this year's being "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and will have Christmas cheer ringing all through City Hall. The hour long parade begins on the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets at 7pm and ends in front of City Hall, followed by the traditional tree lighting ceremony hosted by Santa and Mrs Claus.

Athens is also well-know for its art scene, making holiday artist markets and special events the perfect opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts. This year's market is the Indie South Fair: Holiday Hooray and brings an eclectic selection of emerging artists and crafters from southeast and beyond to downtown Athens.

You can also celebrate the holiday season at The Classic Center in downtown Athens. Christmas as The Classic Center will be a fun filled wonderland featuring Athens' only ice skating rink, a Festival of Trees, pictures with Santa and a Santa's workshop full of holiday crafts for kids.

The Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour on three consecutive Sundays in December will transport participants to Christmases past. This special holiday version of the Museum Mile tour will focus on holiday traditions spanning the 19th century by exploring four unique historic houses from Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian periods. The tour included live music, professional theatre, light refreshments and culminates with a glorious Victorian Christmas at the Ware-Lyndon House.

At Hodgson Hall, the UGA Symphony Orchestra, Hodgson Singers and University Chorus will come together in their annual UGA Holiday Concert for a night of holiday music magic. The Athens Chamber Singers invites guests to join them for their annual Yuletide Musical Dinner. This event features a delicious dinner buffet alongside wonderful holiday tunes. If you want to participate in a public musical performance art piece in the form of a holiday caroling party, gather at Little Kings Shuffle Club for Unsilent Night.

The State Botanical Garden will host several holiday events for families over the Christmas season. The first is a Holiday Open House. The Visitor Center and Conservatory will be decked out in Christmas sparkle while Santa Claus and Mrs Claus will be on-site for photos, Christmas wishes and hugs. There will be puppet shows and musical performances for families to enjoy all afternoon long. This event is free and open to the public. This year the Gardens will also host Classic City Band for their official holiday concert and New Horizons Band will be performing holiday tunes.

What better holiday present could there be than plans for a New Year's Eve getaway to Athens? A variety of venues are hosting special events this year. Graduate Athens are hosting a Dancing in the Street New Year's Eve with entertainment at Foundry with Martha Reeves & the Grains of Sand Band. Hotel Indigo's New Years Eve Party featuring The Highballs offers fabulous cocktails and live music in their elegant Rialto Room.The 40 Watt New Year's Eve show will include Reptar, Murk Daddy Flex and Shade at 10pm. The Georgia Theatre will be hosting The Revivalists, AJ Ghent and Larkin Peo for their New Year's Eve extravaganza. Doors open at 8:30pm.

A visit to Athens this New Year's Eve will ensure the first memories of the New Year are ones to never forget! If you need further details on any of these events or are interested in visiting Athens in Georgia please email


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