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Light Up Madison to be held this weekend

Cue Andy Williams' song “It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and put away those Thanksgiving decorations, because the Christmas season is making its way to Madison County this weekend with Light Up Madison on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., thanks to the Madison Kiwanis Club. The evening will kick off with a performance by the Children's Bell Choir from the Madison Church of God at 4:30 p.m. on the Courthouse steps facing Norris Cafe, followed by a performance by the girls of Becky's Dance Steps Studio by the Courthouse at 4:45 p.m. on Pinckney Street near the south end of the Courthouse in front of the Annex. The theme for the 45 minute mini-recital will be “Step Into Christmas” and will feature dancers ranging from ages three to 16 proudly performing in their cutest Christmas outfits. There will be something for everyone as the dancers showcase a variety of 13 ballet, tap and jazz numbers to music ranging from traditional Christmas songs to contemporary. “My students always work very hard to get ready for our Light Up Madison show and look forward to the performance each year,” said studio owner and director Becky Robinson. “It’s a chance for Madison’s young dancers to showcase their talents while giving their friends and family the 'gift of dance' during the Christmas season.” Please bring a lounge chair to sit in and be prepared to enjoy “Step Into Christmas!” Following, there will be the Christmas Dog and Cat puppet show at 5:30 p.m. The lighting of the Christmas trees will commence along SW Range Street at 5:45 p.m. Madison County Community Bank is sponsoring the trees. The fun doesn't stop there! Parade line-up begins at 5 p.m. at Farmer's Furniture, and the parade begins at 6 p.m. It will loop around Four Freedoms Park. Over at the Courthouse steps, live entertainment at 6:30 p.m. includes Madison singer/songwriter Danny Graves performing instrumental Christmas music and his own songs, followed by acoustic guitarist Michael Keeler of Lee performing favorite contemporary Christian songs from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. There will also be free hay rides at 6:30 p.m. in Four Freedoms Park, along with Winter Wonderland and a movie in the park at 6:30 p.m. There will also be crafts, games and other fun activities held. The Rural Area Theater pact will be hosting live mannequins this year, and throughout Light Up Madison, there will be toy characters all around the town for everyone to meet! Music, singing, bell choirs and instruments will fill the park with joyous sounds to welcome the Christmas season. There will also be a live nativity scene in the park made by John Fine, with characters hand-painted by Madison Garden Club members. Those who attend can also get some Christmas shopping out of the way during this event, as downtown shopping will begin at 5 p.m. and continue through the evening until 8 p.m. The festivities will conclude with a visit from Santa. Children will have the great opportunity to meet and take photos with Ol' Saint Nick around Range Street. Join Madison County and show your Christmas spirit! Everyone is invited to attend this family-friendly event. Although not required for participation, families are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items at the event. All donations will benefit the Madison County Food Bank. For more information or to be a part of the event, please contact Deena Hames at (850) 869-0895, Joanne Von Stetina at (850) 673-7427 or Linda Hesketh (850) 445-7496.

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