Christmas parade time
by ELSIE HODNETT and STAFF REPORTS
Dec 08, 2009 | 2379 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print


PELL CITY — Local residents are eagerly anticipating Thursday’s annual Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade.

“We are ready to have a parade,” said Lynn Batemon, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

The parade is at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“We have about 90 to 100 total parade entries this year,” Batemon said. “That is about the same number of entries we had last year.”

Batemon said the entries include 25 to 30 floats, seven fire departments, two bands, eight to 10 groups of horses, cheerleaders, motorcycles, show cars, pageant winners, dance groups, dignitaries, scouts, the Civil Air Patrol, businesses, organizations, clubs, and everything else in between.

“We have a good variety of just about everything,” she said.

The theme this year is “The Sounds of Christmas,” which includes not only religious and secular holiday music, but also children’s laughter, crinkling paper (unwrapping presents), bells (sleigh or otherwise), clip-clop of reindeer hooves, and more, Batemon said.

The parade will start at Pell City High School, travel east on Cogswell Avenue to Comer Avenue, turn left on Comer Avenue and travel to U.S. 231 North. Floats with children will need to continue past Food World on U.S. 231 North to the Iola Roberts Elementary School parking lot. Any other entries may turn left between Food World and KFC and continue on to Pell City High School.

Any floats with children need to continue on to the Iola Roberts Elementary School parking lot for safety reasons, and to help the flow of the parade.

“The floats are prejudged, and must be completely decorated and ready for judging at 5 p.m. at Pell City High School,” Batemon said.

She said there are trophies for the first place float in each of the five float categories: Industry, Retail — Small Business, Retail — Large Business, Church/Institution, and Civic Club/Schools/Organizations.

“The committee will also present the ‘Spectator’s Choice’ award, which goes to the float we feel is worthy of recognition even though it did not win in any other category,” she said. “We will announce the winners as they pass the Review Stand, which is at Bible Methodist Church along U.S. 231 North just before Iola Roberts Elementary School.”

Batemon said Santa Claus will ride on a fire truck at the end of the parade.

“We have everything ready for Santa when he gets here,” she said.

Batemon said Tuesday the weather report is looking good for Thursday’s parade.

“Even with light rain, the parade is a go,” she said. “We would only postpone it due to heavy downpours with lightning.”

Batemon said if the parade is postponed due to inclement weather, it will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, at the same location.

“We are going to think positively and hope for great weather and that it isn’t too cold Thursday night,” she said.

For more information, call the chamber at 205-338-3377.

CHILDERSBURG — The city has announced that 2009 Hall of Fame winner Wallace Shoemaker will be grand marshal for the “Christmas in Childersburg” parade Thursday.

The parade kicks off at 6 p.m., and the city is honored to have Shoemaker serving as grand marshal at the event. Shoemaker owned J & J Drug Store and served as a pharmacist from 1966 to 1995, served eight years on the City Council, six years in the Alabama Legislature and more than 20 years on the Coosa Valley Medical Center Hospital Board. His endless contributions over the years have shown his dedication to the city.

The Marching Tiger Band, under the direction of Sam Ellis, will lead Thursday night’s festivities. Band officers include drum major Ryan Threatt, percussion captain Stedman Simmons, dance line captains Chyundra Twyman and Kyandria Franklin, color guard captains Kayla Luker and Precious Dates, majorette captain Elizabeth Sayers and band captain Corey Nettles.

This year’s parade will form on Fourth Avenue at the field house adjacent to the stadium at 4 p.m. The parade will move down Fourth Avenue at 6 p.m. before turning right onto Third Street and left at Sixth Avenue. It will make a right turn on Fourth Street in front of First Methodist Church and take a right on Eighth Avenue where it will proceed through town and end at the old Giant Foods Shopping Center.

Organizers are asking that no one park in the shopping center lot. This space will be used by parade entries to park and dismantle. All cars in the parade may turn right on Southern Street to exit town without going into the shopping center lot.

Calvary Baptist Church will be serving free hot chocolate on Eighth Avenue in front of Vintage Garage the day of the parade. H & R Block will be serving free hot chocolate on the corner next to Bi Rite. Sanctuary Church will be serving free chili next to Frontier Bank.

Everyone is invited to the “Singing Christmas Tree” at Childersburg First Baptist Church immediately following the parade.