A Great Day In Hazlehurst — By Tommy Purser

Sometimes, it only takes one person with a vision to get things moving in a community.

But even with that vision, it takes teamwork, cooperation, people willing to join the effort …. community involvement.

In my view, Saturday was one of the best days in a long, long time for Hazlehurst and Jeff Davis County.

The Christmas Parade, of course, was as good as always if not better. But there was a big change that made it seem so, so much better than in the past.

By shortening this year’s parade route the crowd of thousands that, each year, come to view the event was funneled into a much smaller area. That was a huge positive.

It brought the community together more —- literally. And, to me, that made the event so much more enjoyable this year.

The announcing over loudspeakers by Shannon Kight and Chris Smith added another sparkling touch to the parade and the pair did a superb job.

But back to that “one person” thing above. Rory Chaney spearheaded efforts to organize a Hazlehurst Main Street initiative and, with the help of her husband, Joel, it’s taking off in a big way.

New stores are opening downtown, special efforts have given the downtown a beautiful Christmas spirit. And a small army of eager participants have joined the Main Street efforts.

Together, they organized the Hazlehurst Hallmark Christmas that preceded the parade and it, too, was a huge success. It brought life to the downtown and drew a big crowd, lifting the spirits of hundreds of people. It was a wonderful touch and added so much to the parade itself.

After the parade, most folks went home for the night. But a lot of us found our way to the Jeff Davis High School gymnasium where one of the top high school basketball games in south Georgia was about to take place.

The gym was packed to the rafters as an ethusiastic crowd of local people and our neighbors not far away in Treutlen County came to see the undefeated and No. 1 Class A team in the state, take on the once-beaten and 5th ranked Class AA team in the state.

Someone had to lose. Someone had to be disappointed with losing. It turned out the Yellow Jackets were on the short end of the scoreboard.

But I assure you, while some left disappointed, no one left unimpressed. It was quite a basketball game. Quite a show.

And while Jeff Davis’ Ja’Quez Kirby, Class AA’s Player of the Year last year, played his normally outstanding game, he was not alone as the younger Jackets showed they, too, can play. And play well.

The Jackets and Lady Jackets have three more games before Christmas in the Ware County Holiday Christmas Tournament in Waycross.

If you want to be entertained, it’s worth the trip, in my opinion.

Sometimes, it only takes one person with a vision to get things moving in a community.

But even with that vision, it takes teamwork, cooperation, people willing to join the effort …. community involvement.

In my view, Saturday was one of the best days in a long, long time for Hazlehurst and Jeff Davis County.

The Christmas Parade, of course, was as good as always if not better. But there was a big change that made it seem so, so much better than in the past.

By shortening this year’s parade route the crowd of thousands that, each year, come to view the event was funneled into a much smaller area. That was a huge positive.

It brought the community together more —- literally. And, to me, that made the event so much more enjoyable this year.

The announcing over loudspeakers by Shannon Kight and Chris Smith added another sparkling touch to the parade and the pair did a superb job.

But back to that “one person” thing above. Rory Chaney spearheaded efforts to organize a Hazlehurst Main Street initiative and, with the help of her husband, Joel, it’s taking off in a big way.

New stores are opening downtown, special efforts have given the downtown a beautiful Christmas spirit. And a small army of eager participants have joined the Main Street efforts.

Together, they organized the Hazlehurst Hallmark Christmas that preceded the parade and it, too, was a huge success. It brought life to the downtown and drew a big crowd, lifting the spirits of hundreds of people. It was a wonderful touch and added so much to the parade itself.

After the parade, most folks went home for the night. But a lot of us found our way to the Jeff Davis High School gymnasium where one of the top high school basketball games in south Georgia was about to take place.

The gym was packed to the rafters as an ethusiastic crowd of local people and our neighbors not far away in Treutlen County came to see the undefeated and No. 1 Class A team in the state, take on the once-beaten and 5th ranked Class AA team in the state.

Someone had to lose. Someone had to be disappointed with losing. It turned out the Yellow Jackets were on the short end of the scoreboard.

But I assure you, while some left disappointed, no one left unimpressed. It was quite a basketball game. Quite a show.

And while Jeff Davis’ Ja’Quez Kirby, Class AA’s Player of the Year last year, played his normally outstanding game, he was not alone as the younger Jackets showed they, too, can play. And play well.

The Jackets and Lady Jackets have three more games before Christmas in the Ware County Holiday Christmas Tournament in Waycross.

If you want to be entertained, it’s worth the trip, in my opinion.

1 Comment

  1. Janice D Clements on December 20, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Me and my family enjoyed it💓💓💓

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