Parade, tree lighting bring holidays to downtown Augusta

  • Follow Metro

Arica Batchelor is finding it easy to get into the holiday spirit this year.

Back | Next
Arica Batchelor watches the fireworks show with her 6-year-old daughter, Bailey (right), and 4-year-old son, Manu, as Kacie Kelly (left) points out the fireworks to her 3-year-old son, Ayden Enriquez, after the Christmas tree was lit on the Augusta Common.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Arica Batchelor watches the fireworks show with her 6-year-old daughter, Bailey (right), and 4-year-old son, Manu, as Kacie Kelly (left) points out the fireworks to her 3-year-old son, Ayden Enriquez, after the Christmas tree was lit on the Augusta Common.

As her two children and their cousins filled bags with candy tossed from floats and expressed excitement over seeing Santa and disappointment over the end of the Miss Augusta Christmas Fantasy Parade, Batchelor just took it all in.

Holiday festivities at the family’s former home in Fairbanks, Alaska, were minimal because of the weather.

“In the winter, we’re usually cooped up. I’m taking advantage of all the parades,” she said. “It’s exciting to just get out here and get in the Christmas spirit in regular weather.”

She plans to see as many Christ­mas parades and take the children to as many holiday activities as she can this year to take advantage of the warmer climate.

After the marching bands, dancers, floats and carolers made their way down Broad Street, the family-friendly party continued at Augusta Common with live music, vendors and activities for children.

Batchelor took young cousins Bryan and Mackenzie Woodruff home and brought her children Bailey, 6 and Manu, 4, back to the Common at dusk.

They had never seen anything like the Christmas Light-Up Spectacular.

Neither had another cousin, Kacie Kelly, who joined the Batchelors with her children Ayden, 3, and Sophia, 8 months.

All of the children scribbled off letters to Santa a few minutes before Mayor Deke Copenhaver flipped the switch that lit up downtown Augusta.

And then the fireworks started.

At first, the children were quiet. “Wow” could barely be heard over the booms and pops as they watched the fireworks illuminate the tree. A few times, Bailey raised her arms and jumped. She especially liked the finale.

Bailey declared the whole day “a blast.”

Batchelor said the closest thing the children have seen to a fireworks display was a few fireworks the family set off for New Year’s last year, in temperatures that were at least 20 below zero.

As the lights came on and the crowds dispersed, a wistful look came over Batchelor’s face.

“It’s kind of got me emotional,” she said. “I’m missing my husband,” who is stationed with the Army at Fort Wainwright in Alaska.

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/02/12 - 08:57 am
1
1
The best parade wasn't downtown, It was at Goshen Plantation

Goshen Plantation - held its annual Christmas Parade
Saturday night.

Families and not just from Goshen, but from the surrounding South Side area also attended.

There was a large Parade of Lighted Golf Carts and Lighted Floats in tow by Golf Carts that the toured the whole community.
The Parade arrived at the Community's LIVE 80+/- ft High Christmas Tree with Santa on a Fire Truck.

The Christmas Tree was lighted.

Even modest gift items were given to the kids.

Goshen & South Side Families had a Peaceful & Safe Evening with cookies, candy and Hot Chocolate provided freely.

No shoving, no yelling, no fights, stabbings, or dirty language. An no expensive Taxpayer Paid fireworks, which 60% was still paid for by the South Side for the city.

It was a completely Family focused gathering.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs