MONROE, Ga. — A series of events over the next few weeks will help Monroe residents celebrate the city’s 200th birthday.
The 68th annual Downtown Monroe Christmas Parade will take on a special importance this year with a theme of “Bicentennial Christmas.”
The parade will be a celebration for a couple of reasons — the city’s milestone birthday and a return to normal. The parade was dramatically different in 2020 as COVID-19 protocols meant a “parade in place” format where the floats were stationary and attendees walked at their own pace to see the displays.
For 2021, the traditional march through town returns. As is tradition, the parade is the first Thursday in December.
But the celebration begins Sunday with a presentation by Steve Brown of the Monroe Museum. “Monroe Then & Now” will be shown at 4 p.m. at Grace Monroe, 315 N. Madison Ave.
At 4 p.m. Monday, city officials will break ground on the Downtown Green, a future park space at the corner of East Church Street and South Madison Avenue.
A reception will follow from 5-7 p.m. at the McDaniel-Tichenor House.
Citizens are invited to celebrate from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday for a citywide birthday party. Food trucks, inflatable games, a touch-a-truck event and more — including birthday cake — will be available at City Hall, 215 N. Madison Ave.
On Stage, the local community theater group, will present a look back at Monroe’s Christmas past with an original play at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Wayfarer Music Hall on North Broad Street. Enjoy Monroe trivia and a hot chocolate bar.
Also on Dec. 1, Brown will lead a walking tour of the city, to point out some of the historic features, at 5 p.m.
On Dec. 3, visitors and residents are invited to spend the day shopping downtown.
There will be two events Dec. 4: a citywide clean-up day from 8 a.m. until noon, and the Monroe-Walton Center for the Arts Saturday Soiree from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The week-plus of events wraps up with Brown again presenting “Monroe Then & Now” at 4 p.m. Dec. 5, back at Grace Monroe.