More than 30 miniature lit homes fill Sparkle Village on the City Green in time for Sparkle Sandy Springs on Sun., Dec. 4, a celebration of the holidays.

Sparkle Village sets the scene in and around the City Green off Galambos Way in Sandy Springs, where the Sparkle Sandy Springs holiday event kicks off the season on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4. (City of Sandy Springs)

The event begins at 4 p.m., with the Sparkle Parade starting at 6 p.m.

“It started out as a walking parade and then we pivoted and did the drive-thru. And now we’re back to the walking parade again this year,” said Anna Nikolas, director of Signature Events.

This year the parade will have its first balloon float. Power lines prevent the city from having aerial balloons, so this will be on a float, she said.

Parade participants will include the Riverwood High School band, Staying Alive dance group, Twilight Twirlers, Atlanta Ghostbusters, North Springs High School, Weber School cheerleaders, Holy Innocents High School cheerleaders, and drum line. The parade ends with the Santa float.

Sparkle Village anchors the event and will be on display from Dec. 4 to Jan. 1. The 31 homes were created by 29 local organizations.

Lighting has been installed around the City Hall and City Green campus that can be programmed for a specific holiday, she said.

“Last year we added our gift market, our Sparkle Market, and it features our Farmers Market gift and craft vendors,” Nikolas said.

Visitors can shop at the Sparkle Holiday Gift Market on Bluestone Road from 4 to 7 p.m., where 14 gifts, craft and chocolate shops will sell their wares. They can also buy food from four food trucks. City Bar will offer hot chocolate and other drinks also.

The food trucks on Bluestone Road also will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. and includes Dot Bowl with Korean BBQ, The Patty Wagon with burgers, Gyro Chef with Mediterranean fare, and Mac Queen ATL offering mac & cheese. CityBar will also be open with snacks, hot chocolate, and a seasonal specialty drink, Mocha Mudslide.

Visitors and motorists should note that roads will close at 3 p.m.:

  • Mount Vernon Highway from Hammond Drive to Galambos Way
  • Lake Forest Drive from Hammond Drive to Mount Vernon Highway
  • Sandy Springs Circle from Hildebrand Drive to Galambos Way
  • Blue Stone Road from Hildebrand Drive to Galambos Way
  • Galambos Way from Mount Vernon Highway to Bluestone Road

The Rupert’s Orchestra will kick off with live music at 4:30 p.m., continuing to perform until the start of the parade at 6 p.m.

After the parade, a symbolic lighting of the menorah will be performed Rabbi Samantha Shabman Trief. After that ceremony, the tree will be lit.

Free parking will be available for the event at multiple locations.

“What we’re really trying to encourage is the shuttle service that’s available at Lake Forest Elementary and it’s free and it runs from four o’clock to eight,” Anna Nikolas, director of Signature Events for the city, said.

Community members can use the parking and shuttle bus at Lake Forest Elementary School (P10) at 5920 Sandy Springs Circle. Three shuttle buses will transport them to the South Parking Lot across Mount Vernon Highway from the City Green, operating from 4 to 8 p.m.

The South Parking lot (P3) at 182 Hilderbrand Drive NE will primarily be used for handicapped parking.

The City Springs underground parking garage (P1 & P2) will be available until all spaces are occupied.

Parking also will be available during the event, with map location designations shown:

  • P4 – Chase Bank, 6180 Roswell Road
  • P5 – Truist Bank, 6240 Roswell Road
  • P6 – Mr. Tire, 6258 Roswell Road
  • P7 – Sandy Springs Commerce Building, 333 Sandy Springs Circle
  • P8 – Ameris Bank, 225 Sandy Springs Circle
  • P9 – Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Activities Center, lower lot accessible from Sandy Springs Circle, 6150 Sandy Springs Circle
Local community organizations built miniature homes that are displayed by the City Green that will be lit and on display through the end of the year. (City of Sandy Springs)
This parade route and parking map shows locations available for parking for the Saturday afternoon event. (City of Sandy Springs)

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.