The  Downtown Statesboro Development Authority  will be hosting its annual Holiday Celebration on Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. This free F1RST Friday event is sure to provide an enchanting evening for the entire community to enjoy.

There will be no shortage of holiday cheer for this community celebration, featuring a chili cook-off contest, holiday shopping, the Synovus hayride, a Christmas golf-cart parade, Santa photo booth and community stage performers.

In the mood to show off your culinary talents? Join us for the highly anticipated chili cook-off in Statesboro Natural Gas’ Chili Town. There are four categories that participants can compete in, including: overall best chili, best restaurant chili, people’s choice and best-decorated booth.

Set up for the chili cook off begins at 3 p.m. in the parking lot across from City Hall at the corner of Oak and East Main St. Judges will collect their samples at 5 p.m. Then Chili Town will be open to the public at 5:30 p.m.

To vote in the People’s Choice category, tickets will be available for $1 and all proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County. To participate in the cook-off, please go to Visit Statesboro.

Enjoy holiday shopping from a variety of artisans selling sweet treats, jewelry, children’s toys, home decor, bath products, clothing and street food.

All Fired Up will sell local one-of-a-kind ceramics, fine arts and jewelry. Local artists and Georgia Southern students will come together to display unique gifts for sale.

The Christmas parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. A variety of decorative golf-carts, dune buggies and antique vehicles will usher in Santa Claus from West Main Street to City Hall.

Don’t forget to swing by our photo booth to snap a picture with Santa throughout the duration of the event. Santa will be in the Emma Kelly Theater lobby.

Various performers will delight the community throughout the evening on the Courthouse stage with festive sights and sounds of the season including the Cotton Rose Dance Studio at the Averitt.

Allen Muldrew, Executive Director for Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, stated:

“Please be advised East Main Street will be closed to through traffic starting at 3:00 p.m. from the Courthouse to Railroad St.”

The continued success of our annual Holiday Celebration would not be possible without our sponsors, vendors, and close-knit community that love to spread the joy of the holiday season. The Downtown Statesboro Development Authority would like to thank their 2021-2022 sponsors: Colony Bank, Cinnaholic, Statesboro Properties, McKeithen’s True Value, Via Media, CORE Credit Union, Georgia Power, East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, Wells Fargo Advisors, Party Harbor, Tormenta FC, Coca Cola, Statesboro Oral Surgery, McLendon Enterprise, Southern Chiropractic & Wellness Center, Zaxby’s and Morris Bank.