Published Thursday, December 27, 2012

Neighbors, visitors celebrate the season at St. Nick on St. Clair

By W. WINSTON SKINNER

winston@newnan.com

St. Nick on St. Clair brought together neighbors and visitors for one final visit with Santa Claus – and a time to celebrate the season in one of Newnan’s in-town neighborhoods.

Tiffany Houston, one of the organizers of the annual event this weekend, said the neighbors along St. Clair Street are a congenial bunch who are willing to work together. They proved her words true on Saturday when a festival with crafts, arts, activities and vendors welcomed Santa.

St. Clair is located just west of downtown Newnan between West Washington Street and Wesley Street. Along the street, several families had elaborate Christmas decorations. Theodora Stegall welcomed Santa to her porch for photographs, while a nearby neighbor broadcast carols from a sound system.

At the other end of the street, the Houston home was the anchor for an area with tables for eating and activities. Vendors included Myra Kibler, who brought Mary Kay products, and Heather Money and Rebecca Murphy with Avon.

Brandon Young, 12, came to the event with his brothers, Miguel Lay, 11, and Jayvon Bazile, 9. Young said he heard about the event from Lay – and that he had enjoyed himself, visiting with friends and taking advantage of an opportunity to “eat cotton candy and eat popcorn.”

“They had a coloring contest,” Stegall said. “They did nail painting and face painting.”

Houston said neighbors helped in various ways. She also said local businesses made donations toward St. Nick on St. Clair. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said of the business donors.

Among the youngest volunteers was Tamaya Clerk, 8. “I painted people’s faces, and I did nails,” she said. Clerk’s mother is an artist who also “used to do nails,” she said. “She taught me how.”

Clerk said the popular design of the day was a butterfly. Donneshia Bussie, 11, was among those choosing a winged beauty to adorn her cheek. She selected the design “because I love butterflies,” she said.

Santa Claus arrived on a red City of Newnan firetruck. The gleaming firetruck stopped on West Washington Street, where St. Clair was barricaded for safety. Santa then led a procession of parents and children to Stegall’s porch where he posed for photographs and heard last minute wishes for Christmas Eve.

This year’s St. Nick on St. Clair was the second celebration held by the residents.

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