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Santa comes to Sylvania
City, county enjoy annual downtown Christmas celebration
W Reg Santa
Santa Claus waves to the crowd Thursday during Sylvania's annual downtown Christmas parade and celebration. - photo by CRYSTAL WALKER/Staff

       SYLVANIA - Santa came to town Thursday night and joined hundreds of others attending Sylvania's 2010 Christmas Extravaganza.
      With more than 60 food booths, activities for the young and old, and musical entertainment by the Statesboro Blues Band - new to the event this year - the whole town seemed to resound with Christmas spirit.
      Behind the planning and organization of the Junior Woman's Club, the event began with Sylvania's largest Christmas parade, led by Santa himself.
      As the sun's light dimmed, the twinkling of Christmas lights in every window filled the downtown streets, and sounds of parading grandeur were replaced by the melodies of the Statesboro Blues Band.
      "It seemed that the crowd grew larger as the night passed," said Mayor Margaret Evans, who appeared on a float in the parade, joined by other city council members.
      Screven County High School's German club added variety to the choice of foods and the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America members put a twist on the traditional "Reindeer Games" by providing a station of Wii play. The young and the young-at-heart bought tickets to play the wildly popular Wii Nintendo projected on a large screen.
      The Festival of Trees was a display not only of beautiful trees, said Evans, but also a reflection of each business where they were displayed, as their branches donned themed ornamentation.
      Much of the event's success can be attributed to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heidi Jeffers and her committee, said Evans, and the beauty displayed downtown is due to the hard work of Hilda Boykin, Sylvania's Downtown, Better Home Town executive director.
      After such a wonderful evening, Evans said it is hard to imagine what next year's Christmas Extravaganza will hold.

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