Madison County welcomes the Christmas season as the yuletide comes marching in with city parades scheduled for this coming Friday and Saturday nights.
With Christmas just a few weeks away, Richmond’s largest and arguably favorite holiday event is fast approaching with the annual Christmas Parade to be held on Friday, Dec. 6.
New this year is the parade’s theme of “The 12 days of Christmas,” which was announced earlier this year at a parks board meeting.
Elizabeth Eversole, program coordinator with Richmond Parks and Recreation, said each year, the park’s office comes up with various themes and look at year’s past.
“We try to pick themes that allow people the opportunity to make it more of what they see Christmas as and leave space for creativity,” she said.
Eversole said last year, the parade included 110 participants, half of which were floats. She expects this year, they will see about the same amount.
“This event is one of the most popular programs every year, with thousands of people watching both in person and online,” a press release sent from the Parks Department read. “We attract roughly 120 floats every to participate in Richmond’s largest Christmas and Holiday season celebration. Richmond Parks & Recreation invites everyone of all ages out to join us on Main Street for an all out holiday bash.”
The release states the parade line up will take place in the EKU Alumni Coliseum Parking lot for all floats and other vehicles.
All bands, animals or walking groups (entries with no vehicles) will be lining up at the EKU Keith Lot. The parade will leave the Alumni Coliseum parking lot at 6:45 p.m. and arrive downtown roughly by 7 p.m. The parade will turn right onto Lancaster Ave. and will continue until Main St. and end at Collins St. The full parade can be viewed after University Dr. when all walking groups will be inserted into the parade.
Eversole said people can view the full parade starting after Turner Gate at the intersection of Barnes Mill Rd. and Lancaster Ave.
“There are always new designs and every year people come up with more interesting designs and we are excited to see what people have come up with this year,” Eversole said.
And while she says the parks department does not get to see the “full show” of the parade, she said it is awesome to see the lights and everyone’s excitement as they leave the parking lot.
Parks board chair Jon McChesney said he and his wife Shellie attend the parade each year, and love it every time.
“This is small town America charm personified with excellent participation among the business community, churches, civic groups and schools.” McChesney said. “I am hoping to see more EKU involvement this year including musicians and athletics. ...The parade is very well planned and delivered by Erin Moore and her Richmond Parks and Recreation team. I encourage the community to come enjoy this fun and candy-filled parade that beautifully kicks off the Christmas season.”
For more information, contact the Richmond Parks Department at 859-623-8753.
For those who are ready to dive into the holiday season, the 34th annual Twilight Christmas parade, put on by the Berea Chamber of Commerce, will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.
This year’s theme, according to David Rowlette, Berea chamber executive director, is “Christmas Past and Christmas Present.”
In order to showcase this theme, different churches, businesses and nonprofits are set to deck out their floats in holiday decorations and stunning lights.
This year, there are competitions for best business float, best church float, best nonprofit float and best industry float.
“The folks at Madison County Public Library have often times won the nonprofit category and most of the churches in the area put together float entries,” Rowlette said.
First place floats win a cash prize of $200 while second place wins $100.
The parade starts with lining up at Berea Community School and then it goes up Ellipse, across Jefferson, up Broadway, down Chestnut streets and back to the school. Rowlette said the best place to watch the parade is anywhere along Chestnut Street.
So that families can be immersed in the holiday spirit all day, many Berea craft shops and galleries will be open before the parade.