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Parades kick off Christmas season this weekend

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By Staff Reports

The City of Galax’s annual parade and community tree lighting ceremony kicks off the Christmas season on Friday, followed by three parades and other holiday events on Saturday in Hillsville, Independence and Fries.
The Galax Christmas Parade will be begin at Police Square on North Main Street in downtown Galax this Friday night. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with Christmas music, followed by the lighting of the tree at 6:30 p.m.
The parade, which travels south down Main Street, will follow at 7 p.m.

Hillsville
The Hillsville/Carroll County Christmas Parade will be held Saturday at 4 p.m.  
The theme for the 2013 parade is  “Christmas Around the World.”
Lineup will begin at 3 p.m. along Edgewood Drive.  
All floats wishing to be judged are to line up in the Carroll County Governmental Center parking lot.  
Floats will be judged for being most original, best parade theme and best religious.  Each first-place winner will receive $100.
Organizers encourage attendees to stay after the parade for refreshments, visits with Santa, kids’ crafts, carols and music presented by The Timber Rattlers at the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home and the Historic Courthouse.  
The Christmas tree lighting will take place on the Historic Courthouse lawn at 5:30 p.m.
Groups, businesses or individuals wishing to participate in the parade should register by contacting Town Hall at (276) 728-2128 or hillsville@townofhillsville.com.  
“We hope that all will come and join us as we celebrate the 2013 Christmas season!” organizers said.

Independence
The Town of Independence will host its annual Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony Dec. 7 at 3 p.m.
The parade route will begin at First United Methodist Church and end at Guynn Shopping Center. Following the parade, children can visit with Santa at 4 p.m. in the Grayson National Bank Conference Center.
The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will commence on the McKnight Lot at 5:30 p.m. with the theme of “Peace and Prosperity.”
For more information, contact Independence Events Coordinator Renae Sizemore at rsizemore@independenceva.com or (276) 773-3661.

Fries
The Fries Recreation Center will host several activities and events for the annual “Christmas on the Mountain” festival on Dec. 7.
The center will host a breakfast in the dining room at 7 a.m. with a bazaar following at 8 a.m. Also, a soup lunch will be served at 11 a.m., and holiday photography will be offered in the rec center’s scout room.
Kids will have the opportunity to meet Santa and his elves and bounce around in his bounce house in the rec center theatre.
The day will also consist of a Holiday Homes Tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Tours will begin in the Fries Recreation Center dining room. Anyone interested in showcasing their holiday decorations can contact the town office to register.
The Christmas parade will begin at 5 p.m., followed by an open house at the Fries Volunteer Fire Department. The Christmas tree lighting and carol singing will cap off the day at 6:30 p.m. at the town tree, located at the Washington Inn.
For information, to register or to be a vendor for the events, contact the town office at (276) 744-2231.