Parade entry deadline Monday

Published 12:16 am Friday, November 21, 2008

Hands are hard at work to prepare floats for upcoming Christmas parades throughout the county and entry deadlines for many cities are just around the corner.

This year’s theme for Andalusia’s Christmas parade will be “Christmas Alabama Style” and, with approximately 100 entries expected to grace the parade route Thurs., Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., the event is sure to entertain.

“The parade is a wonderful opportunity to bring everyone in the community together,” Ashley Eiland, executive vice president of the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “It is a terrific chance to celebrate the fantasy of Christmas with children in the community, as well as an opportunity for business to present themselves in lights.”

Deadline for registration in Andalusia’s parade is Mon., Nov. 25. No fee will be required for chamber members, but non-chamber members will be required to pay a $25 registration fee.

Eiland said the biggest revision of this year’s Christmas parade will be a revised lineup location and parade route.

“We will be lining up on the new Tisdale Street and we ask that everyone enter from South Cotton,” she said. “We will direct them to the correct location from that point. There will be places for parents to park cars. The parade route itself will basically go around the square and back down South Cotton and Tisdale Street. We will no longer go down by the old Coca-Cola building.”

Opp will also hold its Christmas parade Thurs., Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. and registrations received prior to Mon., Dec. 1, will not incur a fee. However, those who register after Dec. 1 will be required to pay a $25 late fee.

Tonitta Sauls, executive director of economic and community development for the city of Opp, said several local downtown businesses will be serving hot chocolate and coffee along the parade route for that day.

Sauls said the parade, which is themed as “The Magic of Christmas” this year, is a key event for the community.

“It is actually one of the biggest events in terms of bringing local people to town,” Sauls said. “It is an exciting time for children and their families. It gives them the opportunity to see the parade entries, to see the lights turned on for the first time and to visit our local merchants.”

Sauls said approximately 50 parade entries have been received thus far and, with approximately 10 to 15 requests submitted in recent days, she expects close to 100 entries will occupy the parade route.

Red Level’s Christmas parade, themed “Disney and Nickelodeon on Parade,” will take place Sat., Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. A registration fee of $10 will be charged for parade entries, which will help fund the city’s Christmas angels and fruit basket programs.

“We will deliver fruit baskets to elderly residents and residents who are not able to leave their homes this holiday season,” Tonya Cook, assistant town clerk for Red Level, said. “Our Christmas angels program will help to provide gifts to families in Red Level. We also have an ongoing community food drive that will help provide food for families during the Christmas holiday.”

Florala’s “The Magic of Christmas” parade will take place Sat., Dec. 13, at 5 p.m.

Sue Mathis, an active member of the Florala Chamber of Commerce, said the parade is open to everyone in the community.

“You do not have to register,” she said. “Just come and get in line. Someone will be there to direct them. There will be prize money awarded for the top three floats.”

Anyone interested in participating in the Florala Christmas parade is asked to arrive at Florala High School at least 30 minutes prior to the parade.