Chamber gearing up for 'Storybook' Christmas parade
by Emily Adams
Nov 15, 2012 | 3225 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SYLACAUGA – Applications for Sylacauga’s 34th annual Christmas parade are due Monday, and the event is already shaping up to be a holiday treat.

Chamber of Commerce Director Carol Bates said three bands and several large floats from local businesses and industries have already committed to participate in the Dec. 4 parade.

This year’s theme is “A Storybook Christmas.” Participants can choose any song or story idea to design their float around.

“It’s up to them to interpret the theme however they want,” Bates said. “We thought the storybook idea would give plenty of options and be easy and a whole lot of fun.”

The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. and will follow the same route as last year. Starting at Sylacauga High School, it will continue up Broadway Avenue, make a right on Fort Williams Street, a right on Norton Avenue and end back at SHS.

Imerys Pigments will serve as the grand marshal after having been selected as Chamber Champion at the annual Chamber banquet earlier this month. Several past Chamber Champions are also participating.

“It’s actually becoming quite a competition between some of our other Champions, like OMYA and Nemak,” Bates said. “I know they are already working feverishly on their floats.”

Floats will be judged at 5:15 p.m. before the parade. Six awards will be announced the week following the parade. The grand prize is for Outstanding Theme, followed by the President’s Award, Grand Marshal’s Award, Chairman’s Award, Sylacauga Business Association Award and the Bleacher Shirley Johnson “Spirit of Christmas” Award, representing first through fifth place. Horses will be judged at 5:40 p.m.

As always, Santa Claus will serve as the parade’s finale. An added bonus this year, Santa will be available for pictures at the gazebo behind Wright Sprayberry Insurance starting at 4:30 p.m. on parade day. Visitors must bring their own camera.

The B.B. Comer High School band will lead the festivities, and the SHS and Childersburg High School bands have already committed. Bates said other bands are expected to join. They also hope to have more horses and beauty queens sign up, along with any other community organizations.

Downtown businesses will be encouraged to stay open the night of the parade. Also, Chamber Ambassadors will be helping throughout the event, and Mayor Doug Murphree and the newly inaugurated City Council will participate.

If there is inclement weather, Bates said a decision on whether to cancel would be made by noon on Dec. 4.

“We had a window of opportunity last year, and it slammed shut on us,” she said of last year’s rain-soaked parade. “People still enjoyed it, the kids especially, but we’re going to try not to have that happen again.”

Bates said the parade is always a high point of the Christmas season for the community.

“We’ve had some great parades in the past, and we’re looking for this one to be equally as memorable and special for everyone involved,” she said. “The more, the merrier.”

The entry fee for a non-float business is $100; for floats of all sizes, pick-up trucks and walkers is $50; and for dignitaries, title holders and horses is $15. Applications and fees are due by Nov. 19 by 5 p.m. Applications are available at the Chamber or online at www.sylacaugachamber.com.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 256-249-0308.

Contact Emily Adams at eadams@dailyhome.com.