Applications open for Richmond Christmas parade, holiday programs

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The Richmond Christmas Parade is scheduled for Dec. 3.

The city of Richmond and Parks and Recreation are getting in the holiday spirit.

Both entities are gearing up for the return of Richmond's annual Christmas events.

Parks Board Chair Jon McChesney said the programs which are coming back will be a "return to normalcy," following event cancellations in the midst of the pandemic.

The first event returning is the city's Christmas Parade which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 3. The theme is 'Christmas around the world' and applications are open on the park's website for those that wish to participate. Applications will close on Nov. 17. Some will be taken for a late fee if spaces are available.

Fifty entries have been submitted as of Nov. 9. Around 100 floats are accepted in total.

Following the parade, on Saturday, Dec. 4, the city will host their Holiday Happening Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Typically, the event is held in City Hall with about 20 vendors. However, this year, the parks department is hosting the craft show inside of the Richmond Mall on the Eastern Bypass.

Because of this, nearly double the amount of normal vendor participants are registered. For the 2021 craft show, 41 vendors out of 42 available spots are signed up.

"We are typically only able to have 20 (vendors) but with moving it, we were able to expand that space," said Erin Moore, the director of parks administration and recreation.

Around 10 vendors are returning after taking part in previous city craft shows. All other vendors are newcomers to the event.

In addition to those events, the parks department is helping Santa again this year with the Santa Letters program. Those who wish to share a letter with Santa can apply with the parks department with registration closing on Dec. 14.

Already, 27 children will be receiving letters from Mr. Claus.

"I expect there to be a lot of little elves helping with writing letters this year," Elizabeth Foster, program coordinator said.

Lastly, the city will again host their decorating competition, "Radiant Richmond," throughout the month of December. This event was introduced during the 2020 holiday season due to COVID-19.

Houses, businesses and residences which decorate for holiday festivities can enter their property for a chance to win one of several categories including Mayor's choice, Judges' choice, Peoples' choice and honorable mentions.

Any citizen can nominate a neighborhood or house to win. Nominations are online now until Dec. 7. Winners are scheduled to be announced on Dec. 19.

The next parks board meeting is scheduled to take place on Dec. 7 at noon. The meeting is located at 325 North Estill Avenue in Richmond.

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