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Welcoming the season

The Apalachicola Times

It began to look a lot like Christmas Friday, as Apalachicola bustled with families beginning in the afternoon.

Because of the coronavirus, Santa Claus had opted not to arrive by shrimp boat, and instead had remained at the North Pole, busy writing responses to postcards children picked up at downtown merchants, the entire service arranged by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Kevin Begos advises the Grinch to hit the road after he lit the Christmas tree in Riverfront Park.

“Considering the circumstances I think it went really well,” said John Solomon, chamber director. “The town was packed Friday and the shops were all busy, which is why we have that event. To encourage shopping local.”

Chamber staffer Samantha Gilbert made special arrangements to bring the Grinch to town, and that was a hit with kids.

Little Emma Carbo, in the arms of her mom Kristin Carbo, visiting from Louisiana, enjoys a treat from the Mellow Mullet, which kept owner Elizabeth Thomas busy all afternoon.

Gilbert, Solomon and several volunteers placed about 800 luminaries throughout town, each with a lit candle inside. The traditional Lighting of the Tree (actually a shrimp net) in Riverfront Park was handled by Mayor Kevin Begos, and Commissioner Despina George.

The Franklin County Schools' Giving Tree has several ornaments that still need sponsors. " We realize this has been a hard year for many families and feel this is one way we can help them through the holidays," said staffer Alison Chipman. "Our Giving Tree is up in our front office however individuals can call to select an ornament to sponsor." Deadline to have all gifts turned in is Dec. 10.
Margene Off, owner of All That Jazz gift shop downtown, strings a lit star in her shop window.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, there will be a Holiday Fresh Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the chamber offices on Avenue E between Market and Commerce Streets.

Solomon said there should be about two dozen vendors, including those from the Eastpoint Market who are venturing over for the event.