The Christmas season is celebrated in communities throughout the United States. Producer Zulima Palacio recently visited Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta in the southeast state of Georgia to take in the festivities there. Jeffrey Young narrates it.
It is Christmas time and here, near Atlanta, Georgia, people celebrate every night from the middle of November until the end of December.
"Stone Mountain Park is one of the largest tourists attractions in the state of Georgia. We have over four million visitors that come to the park every year," says Christine Parker, the marketing manager for Stone Mountain Park. She says this season the park expects nearly 30,000 families to visit its 18-year-old Christmas celebration.
Visitors can enjoy activities from live entertainment, to dining, and live theater.
One of the main attractions comes with the sunset: It is the Santa Claus Parade with all of the park's entertainers participating. Visitors line the streets of the Christmas villa, and floats roll by loaded with fun, one after another.
The Santa Claus float ends up at Santa's House, where children can visit, write a letter to him and get their picture taken while sitting on Santa's lap.
Christine Parker tells us, "A lot of folks that I know actually came out as they [did when they] were a child, sat on Ed's lap and now they bring their kids back out, so it has become a family tradition."
Santa, known as Santa Ed, has been the official Santa at the park for 18 years. That is a lot of children on his lap! "The best estimate is at least 172,000 kids,” he guesses. “You know when you pick up a kid, the average kid weighs 40 pounds [18 kilos] -- if you pick up 50 of them, that's a ton. In a night at Stone Mountain Park, I pick up 200-400 kids -- that's four tons."
On the other side of the Christmas Villa, Mrs. Claus takes care of other children.
More than two million lights line the trees, buildings and streets in the Christmas Villa at Stone Mountain Park. Children love it. They can experience special effects, visit a candy factory and play with giant bubbles.
They also can visit with the Snow Angel. By the end of the evening the Snow Angel plays a starring role in the grand finale -- a laser show, snowfall celebration and fireworks. For kids, young and old, it is a Christmas night to remember.