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      Ho, ho, ho...Kicking off the holiday spirit

      With Christmas only a few weeks away, residents in Florence can already hear those sleigh bells ringing.

      "I knew it was happening, so I came," said a veteran about attending Christmas in Florence.

      For the past four years, this town has hosted Christmas in Florence, a fun-filled day of festivities kicking off the holiday spirit.

      "This event is put on by the community for the community," said organizer Jessica Klumpp. "I think that speaks for itself."

      Klumpp said the one-day event attracts over 600 people. From cookies to crafts, everything screamed ??Merry Christmas??.

      And although the annual celebration spreads the holiday joy, some visitors say it's not the only reason they come.

      "It??s family together and it gives you a really good feeling," admitted one resident.

      But regardless why they attend, many do continue to return, saying this event helps mark the beginning of their very Merry Christmas.