Carol Emlich-Bates, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said the parade committee is trying to instill and promote marble, the marble industry and festival. One of the main entities in Sylacauga is marble, a natural resource, she said.
“We looked back over the years, back over past themes, and this has never been the theme,” Bates said. “So that’s how it came about.”
Applications are due Friday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m., said Ann Gwathney, membership and projects coordinator for the chamber.
“We’ve got four bands so far,” she said, and more applications will probably come in.
Entry forms may be turned in to the chamber. There is a $10 late fee for all units registering after the deadline. The entry fee is due when the application is submitted. The fees are as follows: non-float businesses advertising their company, $100; floats (large and small), $50; pickup trucks, $50; walkers (per unit), $50; titleholders and dignitaries, $15; and horses, $15.
Bates said last year more than 200 units participated. With only four bands and five committed entries, Bates encourages people to get their registration forms in.
The parade will begin at Sylacauga High School (at the corner of North Broadway Avenue and Sixth Street) and will end at Norton Avenue/Sylacauga High School.
Float judging will begin at 5:15 p.m. the day of the parade. Judging will be in the seven following categories: overall first impression, creativity, originality, workmanship, materials used, use of parade theme, and the display of “A Marble City Christmas.”
Bates said the awards will be presented following the parade, tentatively a week later. Prize money is available for winning floats.
The awards will be as follows: Outstanding Theme Award, which will be the grand prize; President's Award, first place; Sylacauga Business Association Award, second place; Bleacher and Shirley Johnston, the spirit award and third place; Grand Marshal's Award, fourth place; Chairman's Award, fifth place; Dianne Cleveland Memorial Award, sixth place; Grady McGowan Memorial Award, seventh place; and an award for the Best Small Entry.
Santa Claus will appear at the end of the parade, which will be held rain or shine.
Bates said volunteers are always needed. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact the chamber.
She said Sylacauga’s Holiday Open House went well.
“The merchants seemed to be overall pleased,” she said. “There was a lot more traffic on Sunday.”
Bates said Holiday Open House was previously only held on Sunday afternoons. People really seem to get out more on Sunday afternoons, she said.