By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Packed First Friday to celebrate season
Barabara Quiros, center, lets friend Iris Gomez-Rizo sample the aroma of a candle made by Cara Oglesby, right, during last year's Shopping by Lantern Light. This year's Shopping by Lantern Light, rained out on Nov. 26, will join Statesboro's Holiday Celebration downtown Friday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file

If you are bored on Friday evening, you only have yourself to blame.

This month’s First Friday event is chock full of events, headlined by the 2013 Christmas Holiday Celebration on the Bulloch County Courthouse lawn on East Main Street, scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m.

WTOC bureau chief Dal Cannady, the master of ceremonies; and special guest Garrett Green, the president of Georgia Southern University’s Student Government Association executive board, will kick off the festivities.
Shopping by Lantern Light, rained out on Nov. 26, will take place in the parking lot behind Sea Island Bank, 2 E. Main St. This evening event serves as the end of the year for the Mainstreet Statesboro Farmers Market and is expected to draw more than 60 vendors.

The City of Statesboro will host the Second Annual Run the Boro, a 5K run that begins at 5:30 in front of City Hall, 50 E. Main St. Proceeds from the run benefit Fostering Families Bulloch and the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade.

Statesboro runner Katie Jasionowski plans to take part in the race. As part of her ongoing campaign to honor the memory of Jake Zeman, a 35-year-old Columbia, S.C., man who collapsed and died near the finish line of the Rock ’n’ Roll Savannah Marathon, she will set up a contribution box to collect medals, bibs and other race items for Zeman’s family. She already has collected a number of race items from the Savannah marathon.

Registration is $25 per person and will be available online at until 7 a.m. Friday. In-person registration is available at City Hall until 4 p.m. Friday. Packet pickup takes place from noon to 5 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit the website or call (912) 764-0683.

“The city of Statesboro, the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Development Authority and Georgia Southern University have partnered for a great cause and bring this community event to another level this year” said Jeff Grant, the city’s human resources director.

Santa Claus will ride in during the Golf Cart Parade. Then, the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, accompanied by the sounds of GSU Southern Sax, conducted by Dr. Carolyn J. Bryan, a professor of saxophone, will take place on the courthouse lawn.

The holiday celebration itself will feature 48 vendors. Chili Town, the annual chili cook-off across from City Hall, will feature 35 booths vying for the best homemade chili in Statesboro. You can sample and vote for your favorite.

“We are happy to be partnering with the DSDA and the Statesboro Natural Gas as this is our first year helping with this event,” said Christa Newton, the market development manager for South Georgia Center for Cancer Care. “All the proceeds are going to the Georgia Foundation for the South Georgia Center for Cancer. We encourage people to participate in the chili cook-off as well as making a donation that will be going to one great cause.”

Compliments of Bella Jay Photography and Fleurish, photos can be taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the Santa photo booth next to the Georgia Southern City Campus.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” will take place inside the Averitt Center for Arts. In addition, there will be live Nativity, carolers from around town will be featured, as well as live dances and eight musical performances on community stages.

Activities for all ages will be available, from the Sea Island Christmas train ride to the Party Harbor bounce houses.
Local merchants will be open late for holiday shopping.

In addition, you can check out all the local merchants’ windows during the “5th Avenue Christmas Window Challenge.” Georgia Southern students in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art will be assigned to make over downtown business windows. Students will have 72 hours to transform their windows. The unveiling will occur at 5:30 p.m., and voting will continue through the month.

The creative minds are being challenged to design window displays that make downtown storefronts look like a Manhattan streetscape.

The event was started last year by Frills by Scott owner Scott Marchbanks as a way for students to get hands-on experience outside the classroom and recognition for their talents. Last year’s competition generated a lot of attention from people who traveled down Main Street. Now the art department and the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority have joined forces to host a second year of the window challenge.
This year’s event features 11 teams working with businesses to create windows based on a “Winter Wonderland” theme. Students met early in November to select one holiday décor item and one roll of ribbon to assist in the decorating of their window. Madame Couture’s owner Maria Proctor donated surplus holiday décor and Fleurish owner Tray Anderson donated ribbon for student use.
Participating businesses will have their windows covered for a 72-hour installation, which began Wednesday. All windows will be revealed at 5:30 p.m. Friday. People can vote on their favorite windows during the First Friday festivities, and voting will continue on the DSDA’s Facebook page at
Merchants participating in the window challenge include Bellies, Babies and Ballerinas; Merle Norman; Mary’s Linens; De Ja Vu Upscale Resale; Children’s Cottage Consignment; Main Street Bridal; Madame Couture’s Consignment Boutique; Bella Jay Photography; L.A. Waters Furniture; The Feathered Nest and Sweet Cheeks Bakery.
Don’t miss taking part in this community celebration where laughter will fill the air and spirits are lifted for the holidays. For more information contact the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority at 912-764-7227 or at

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter