North Jackson Street will be transformed into the wonderfully wacky world of Whoville this Friday night as the 62nd annual Tullahoma Christmas Parade, sponsored by Stan McNabb Automotive, takes over the streets of downtown.
The official deadline to register floats and walkers was last Friday, but according to Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce Marketing and Communications Coordinator Michael Reid, some last-minute entries are still being registered for the annual Christmas tradition.
As of Friday, Reid said the parade had 78 entries, with more anticipated to come in through the rest of this week.
“We would like to see 100,” he said. “It would be exciting to see the strong support of the parade with a three-digit number of entries.”
Any group looking to register for the parade still has some time to do so, though the final cut-off for entries is coming soon.
“The absolute last day to sign up is Wednesday,” he said.
All entries that were signed up prior to Friday will be listed in the parade lineup tab that will be appear in the Friday edition of The Tullahoma News, Reid said. Any entries signed up after Friday will not be listed, though they are still welcome to participate.
All float entries are also eligible for prizes sponsored by Stan McNabb and the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce, said Reid.
There are first- and second-place prizes for floats in the business, school/CEO and civic/nonprofit categories, he said.
The first-place prize is $300 for the winning float, with second place taking home $150.
There is also a separate “Jingle Bell” prize, which includes $150 for first place and $75 for second place, according to Reid.
This year’s parade grand marshal will be former director of schools Dan Lawson, the chamber announced in October.
Lawson was an obvious choice for this year’s grand marshal, according to Reid, as he is just coming off a 22-year tenure at the helm of Tullahoma City Schools.
“With Dr. Lawson [leaving] this year and all he’s given back to the community, it was a fairly easy decision to pick him out of the nominees,” Reid said in October.
The parade route will start on the South side of town, by the post office at the corner of Lauderdale and Jackson streets and end at Tullahoma High School.
This is the traditional parade route, according to Reid.
“It’s been that way for a long time,” he said.
According to AccuWeather.com, the weather forecast for parade time is expected to be cloudy and cold, but any rain will have moved out of the area by then.
The parade takes place on the first Friday in December every year, rain or shine, but there are other, pre-parade activities that will take place at South Jackson Civic Center.
“There is a tree lighting and the grand marshal reception,” Reid said. The reception will start at 5 p.m., with the tree lighting to take place after the reception. Reid said there’s no set time for the tree lighting, but it will take place after dark.
The Whoville Tullahoma Christmas Parade will kick off at 7 p.m. this Friday. A live stream of the parade will be available via Tullahoma Utilities Authority LightTube service, as well as a Facebook Live video on the utility company’s Facebook page, TUA LightTube.
For more information on the Christmas parade, contact the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce at 455-5497.
Erin McCullough may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.