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A Christmas state of mind
Richmond Hill celebrates with Chili Cook-off, parade, snow and entertainment
A scene from Saturday's parade.

Organizers of the annual Richmond Hill Christmas festivities are calling the event a success.

"Everything went smoothly and each event was well-attended," said committee member Jan Bass.

The fun started on a cold and rainy Friday night as hundreds of residents flocked to the pavilion at J.F. Gregory Park to perhaps warm up with the many samples available during the annual chili cook-off and crafts fair.

"People braved the weather, which was really heartwarming," Bass said.

Judges tasted spoonfuls from the 17 participating entries before deeming the chili cooked up by Arts on the Coast representatives Aimee and Jason Harris as the grand champion. Honorable mentions went to first runners-up Richmond Hill P&Z Commissioner Rob Conner and BCSO Sgt. John Peny, second runners-up the U.S. Defense Academy and third runners-up the RHHS Gridiron Club.

Hundreds of families lined the streets of Richmond Hill on Saturday morning for the city’s 14th Annual Hometown Christmas Parade. Fortunately, the threat of rain was held at bay as 78 floats representing area businesses, marching bands and numerous civic organizations strolled through town, many depicting this year’s theme of "Small Town Christmas."

Leading the way were Grand Marshal Sam Davis, Sr., city officials, public safety personnel and soldiers from Fort Stewart.

Parade judges decided the following awards:

- Commercial business float:

1. Golden Wolf Riding Academy, 2. Homes of Integrity Construction, 3. Bryan Bank and Trust, 4. Heritage Bank.

- Non-profit float: 1. Red Hat Society, 2. Billy Phillips family train, 3. Relay for Life.

- Best in show: Golden Wolf Riding Academy.

- Best use of theme: Bryan Bank and Trust.

- Performing groups: 1. South Georgia Olympic Karate, 2. Calvary Day School cheerleaders, 3. ATA Martial Arts.

- Youth groups: 1. RHHS football team, 2. First Christian Academy, 3. Cub Scout Pack 527.

- Marching Bands: 1. Bradwell Institute, 2. Calvary Day, 3. Groves.

Mayor Richard Davis granted the Mayor’s Award to the Red Hat Society.

For the fifth year in a row, the action spilled over to the Station Xchange after the parade for their Christmas Xtravaganza event, which featured the popular ‘winter wonderland’ event with a snowy play area made from chipped ice, crafts, a bouncy playground and live music.

-Read more in the Bryan County News.

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