2019 Christmas parade planned for Saturday

Santa will conclude this Saturday's Christmas Parade in Huntsville.

The 2019 Christmas parade is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. You have until Wednesday, Dec. 4, to pre-register.

The theme this year is “A County Farmhouse Christmas,” which will allow for lots of creativity. Except that you can’t use Santa on your float because he’ll already be there and, well, of course you know, there is only one Santa. He’ll be on the last float – the grand finale.

Enter your float in one of these four categories – nonprofits, businesses, religious, or miscellaneous/other – and put your best foot forward. Three out-of-town judges will pick first, second and third place winners in each category, then they’ll pick the Best in Show winner.

The judges will decide winners based on theme, special effects, creativity and public appeal. You win extra points for pre-registering and for staying within the theme. Winners will receive cash prizes.

Organizers really appreciate those who pre-register, said Amy Olic, Huntsville Chamber of Commerce board member. “It gives us a better idea of how many volunteers will be needed,” she said. Volunteers are needed in staging areas and on roads and spaces that must be kept clear of parked vehicles.

One very important area to keep clear of parked cars is near the public restrooms east of Huntsville Water Utilities.

“Last year, cars were parked in that no-parking area and caused a serious bottle neck,” Olic said.

When exiting the square, floats were forced to turn north and head downhill on a rough, narrow road just west of Brashears Florists because they could not get by the illegally parked cars.

“Floats were backed up on War Eagle as those in front tried to exit on the side road,” she said.

Another area where helpers will be needed is at Parks Avenue and Polk Street, east of the school. That will be the staging area for non-judged floats, Olic said. Plus, someone must keep the road that goes north behind the school administration building open.

Public parking lots are available north and south of Huntsville City Hall.

“The more floats we have, the more people we need to recruit,” she said. “That’s why we’re very grateful to those who pre-register.”

On Nov. 26, Olic said, five floats were pre-registered.

People are welcome to join the parade day-of, but it makes the whole thing go better if you let others know you’ll be there.

There are several ways to do that. Pre-register on the Huntsville AR Chamber of Commerce Facebook page by Dec. 4 or contact these people: Meredith Miller at Cornerstone Bank, Jasmine Thompson at  Brashears Florists, Debbie Masterson at Butterball, or Derrick Witt or Amy Olic at Edward Jones.

At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, all floats must be lined up at the Intermediate School parking lot. Judging will start at 4:30 p.m., and the floats will head for the square at 5:30 p.m.

The Huntsville Chamber of Commerce is the parade’s sponsor and will publish updates on its Facebook page.

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