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VLPRA wins national award for “Christmas card cruise”

Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority won the national Program of the Year award this month for its first-ever “Community-Wide Christmas Card Cruise”.  The National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) presented the award to VLPRA at its conference banquet in Lake County, Illinois last week.

The Community Christmas Card Cruise was initially a smaller display in a VLPRA park in 2020, but expanded in 2022 to a community-wide event.  Businesses, organizations, and even families created jumbo Christmas Cards out of six-foot sheets of plywood and put them in front of their buildings or homes to be seen from the road.  Participants submitted the card addresses to VLPRA, who created a map to show card locations all over the community.  People then used the map to visit the cards and other Christmas displays around the holidays.

VLPRA partnered with Lowndes County, the City of Valdosta, and the City of Hahira to promote the event; first to those who would make cards and then to the general community to see the larger-than-life displays.

“We have wonderful community partners who really embraced the idea and helped us make this a success,” said VLPRA Executive Director George Page, “We are grateful to them and to everyone who participated.  Let’s do it again this year, and make it even bigger!”

More than 100 cards were up all over the county in last year’s event.  VLPRA and its partnering organizations plan to have the cruise again this year and will be sending out participation information in the fall.

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