Angels on the Avenue illuminate Downtown Sumrall

"My son, Zach Little, passed away in March 2012 from cancer. He went to St. Jude, where we did treatments for almost three years."

Zach's memory now hangs high above the streets of Downtown Sumrall.

"He loved Christmas and everything about it," Mary Ann Little said. "The angels in Sumrall are very special to us, because he is our angel."

Each year, illuminated angels line Main Street in Sumrall during the holiday season, each symbolizing someone who is no longer with us. The tradition began in 1999, when families of 22 teenagers who experienced untimely deaths, purchased angels to hang along Main Street in their memory.

"They mean so much, because they represent someone's loved one," said Gerolene Rayborn, Mayor of Sumrall.

She says she holds one special angel close to her heart.

"My little brother was killed in '98, and I purchased an angel for him, so that's a recognition. Of course, I still think about him, but this is a time to give thought to our loved ones that's gone on," she said.

At least one angel is added each year. The angels go up around Thanksgiving and light up Main Street through New Years. Residents who want to purchase an angel for next year should contact Mayor Rayborn before this coming September.