Suwannee Valley Times is distributed into the following cities and towns: Lake City, Live Oak, Madison, Branford, Dowling Park, Falmouth, Lee, Wellborn, Jasper, White Springs, Fort White, High Springs and Alachua

Christmas on the Square 2020 - well attended

Christmas on the Square, 2020 looked a little different this year, but shoppers were happy to get out. Crowds were unexpectedly larger than anticipated. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

By Tami Stevenson

The unexpected crowds that attended Christmas on the Square this year was a testimony to the much wanted sense of ‘normal’ people are craving as they look forward to an anticipated end of the pandemic and social distancing.


Live Oak’s 36th Annual Christmas on the Square, held December 4 and 5, 2020, in downtown Live Oak by the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce used the theme “Christmas Around The World.”


Secily Johnson, Chamber Executive Assistant, said with everything that has taken place this year, they thought it was fitting to have that as the theme. She felt the event went fantastic. They tried to keep the booths apart enough to promote social distancing - only having 150 booths this year, which is half the booths they normally have, which is around 300. They had extra hand-washing stations in place and did not have bounce houses this year.


“Overall, because of it being 2020 (with the pandemic) we were not expecting the crowd like we had. So the turn out on Saturday was absolutely phenomenal,” said Johnson. People are ready to get out and back to living life and she thinks this was a good way of testing the waters and seeing how it would go. “… and I think it went really well,” she added. They had good feedback, and many people thanked them for having the event.


Hundreds lined the streets to watch the annual Lighted Christmas Parade at 6 p.m.

The winners for best floats this year were:
Non-Profit - Suwannee Riverside Elementary
Commercial - Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative
Best Overall - Wards Fabulous Lights

Nothing store-bought in this booth. Everything was hand-made. Joe Buynar Designs from central Georgia. This was their first time here and said it was likely they would come back.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Gator Eggs from Radical Rocks out of Lake City were featured at their booth, along with raw quartz crystals and other interesting rocks. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Shoppers enjoyed the food quart at the 36th Annual Christmas on the Square, standing in long lines to get their carnival food fix! -All Photos by Tami Stevenson

L-R: Robert Davis Gavyn Jenkins, Marah Davis, of Lake City, Brileigh Sellers, Brandy Sellers, of Live Oak. Their French Bulldogs, Batman (left) and Aria were enjoying seeing the people and discovering all the new smells. Brandy said they come every year and were glad they had it this year in spite of COVID.

Asher Goske, of Starke, was enjoying squirting his new bubble gun his parents just purchased from a vendor.

 

Photo Left: Gunner, a 3 year old European Great Dane service dog, right, graduated from Double Six Service Dogs in Lake City. He, along with owner Mark Strange, is now accompanying Gunner’s buddy, Roscoe, a 6 month old, to meet his teacher, Julie Mandy, who was set up in a booth at Christmas on the Square, to become a service dog as well, for his owner, Tim.


Gunner is a rescue dog that was found tied to a tree at 6 months old, weighing 90 pounds then. The (then) owner said he was too big and they were getting rid of him. Today, Gunner weighs more than 120 pounds and he and Mark are best friends. Mark traced his lineage to 3rd generation.
Gunner is AKC registered.

CERT Volunteers Alyce Player, right, and Belinda Herndon