Traditions set under canopy of lights - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Traditions set under canopy of lights

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November 22, 2007

Moultrie--  When nightfall hit Thanksgiving night, thousands of lights lit the Moultrie sky. Justin Carroll wouldn't miss this night for anything.

"We come out to see the lights every year," said Carroll, "I was here when I was 1."

Now he's continuing the tradition.   This is little Amicah's first Christmas.  

"I like doing things for them that my parents did for me," said Carroll. Families from all over South Georgia descended on downtown Moultrie for the Annual Canopy of Lights Celebration. They were unfortunately hit with a canopy of rain.

"Isn't it great to be out in the rain? This is a true Thanksgiving to have what we prayed for," said Moultrie Mayor Bill McIntosh. It didn't dampen the spirits. And it didn't slow the crowds as they walked down Moultrie streets or rode around in a lit train. Mayor Bill McIntosh says the event sets the tone for the holidays.

"It's a great motivater for all of us, a great time to step back and think about the season and think about the holidays and all our blessings," said McIntosh.

But it's also a chance to show off Downtown Moultrie. Several businesses opened up shop on Thanksgiving night to give shoppers an early start to gift-buying.

"It gets people in that Christmas spirit. They're buying their gifts early and picking out what they want and the rain didn't stop it," said Main Street Director Amy Johnson.

So it's evident that the weather and not even the Grinch could steal Christmas this year. As little Amicah waits in line to see Santa, he may not remember this day. But his Dad will. "As long as Moultrie lets us do it," said Carroll.

That's because it's tradition and soon more generations will carry it on under a canopy of lights.

The Canopy of Lights started off as just a Christmas tree to celebrate the end of World War II and to welcome the troops home. Now it's grown to such a big event. Moultrie leaders say the event gets bigger and better every year.  

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