Every year, Manchester residents enjoy a Christmas parade, with the lighting of the Christmas tree marking the beginning of the holiday festivities.
“Several years back, the Manchester Tourism Commission wanted to launch a new tradition at the end of the parade that would allow citizens to come together and celebrate the lighting of the city tree as an unofficial start to the Christmas season,” said Alderman Ryan French. “Each year, (usually) at the end of the parade officials give folks time to make their way downtown for a countdown and lighting by a special ‘tree lighting guest.’ Once the switch is flipped, folks celebrate with cheers and hours of photo shoots.”
The Coffee County Courthouse provides a beautiful setting for the event and a great background for picture lovers. The courthouse is listed on the Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. The businesses located downtown also decorate for the holiday season, offering and additional Christmas display.
The event is a great way for downtown merchants to celebrate and to showcase their businesses during and after the parade, according to French.
“Most importantly, the community comes together in a moment that is truly uniting,” French said. “The countdown from 10 is heard far and wide met with so much excitement from children. This is a newer tradition that we are certainly proud of.”
The Manchester Parks and Recreation Department is organizing the event this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city was taking extra precautions and the lighting of the was before the parade.