Thursday, December 13, 2012

Entire city invited to mayor’s Christmas party.

City of Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood and his wife Dawn Lockwood will be opening their home to the community for a Christmas open house.

by Joan Durbin

The idea to invite 30,000 or so people to their home began with Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood’s late night chat with his wife, Dawn.

“We were lying in bed, talking about having a Christmas party again this year,” the mayor recalled, “and I said how about inviting the entire city?”

At first, Lockwood said, his wife didn’t take him seriously. “She was like, now really, who do you really want to invite?” he said with a chuckle.

When it became clear her husband meant every resident of Milton, “I was a little hesitant at first,” Dawn Lockwood said. “But I’m actually looking forward to it now. We love to entertain and this will be a good party.”

All Milton city council members have told Lockwood they would be there and be co-hosts, he said. “They have been very supportive. They’re bringing desserts and we are all chipping in for beverages. Some restaurants are going to be donating food. No city funds or taxpayer money will be spent.”

The open house will be Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Lockwood home, 375 Dorris Road. There is handicapped parking at the site and shuttle buses will be running from Milton High School, 13025 Birmingham Highway.

The event is intended to be casual and will afford residents the opportunity to shake hands and chat with elected officials in an informal, social setting.

“I think it’s pretty novel. It will be a big party with a small town, community feel,” Lockwood said.

Councilwoman Karen Thurman said she was looking forward to celebrating the holidays with other Milton residents.

“It is very gracious of the mayor and his wife to allow the city council to help host a Christmas party at his house at which we invite all the residents of Milton,” she said. “I am planning on bringing Congo bars, which is a recipe from my grandmother, Polly Mobley, a Milton resident.”

Councilman Burt Hewitt said it is very hospitable for the mayor to open his home to the entire city. “I also think it’s a bit crazy! I’m not sure what I will be cooking. I have never prepared for 32,000.” Lockwood said the event is not a dress-up affair. “I plan to be wearing jeans,” he said.

With an event this big, advance planning is crucial. To get an idea of how many people will be coming, the Lockwoods are asking for RSVPs at Include a name and address to verify Milton residency. An invitation will be sent by return email to print out and bring to the party.

For more information, call Christine Doss, executive aide to the mayor and city council, at (678) 242-2492 or

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