Planning for the holidays always seems to begin well before many are thinking about putting on that festive atmosphere, though depending on the celebration, it may seem like there isn’t ever enough time.
Getting a jolly jump on activities for another year is the Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce with the annual Parade of Lights, set to cross the bricks again on Dec. 6, said Della Wilson, president. There may be still plenty of time to plan and finish a float entry before then, but participants will need to be registered before even Thanksgiving arrives.
For those interested in showing off their Christmas spirit in the “Celebrate the Magic” themed show, they’ll need to return an entry form as well as an entry fee of at least one unwrapped toy to the Chamber by Nov. 22, said Wilson. The toy will go toward the Angel Tree project and the route will begin as well as end at the Burr Shopping Center off of South Chickasaw Street.
The event, which kicks off at 6 p.m., has always been a big draw for the Garvin County seat, though it also brings in parade entries and viewers from well beyond the immediate area, said Wilson. Some entries have already been accepted and sponsors are certainly welcome since it costs about $1,000 to fund everything from promotion to awards for competitors.
“It’s a tradition of fun and new memories for families,” said Wilson. “It reminds us of how much love and Christmas mean together.”
Trophies will be awarded in each of the float categories, including the Spectacular Sparkles Award for outstanding display of lights, Milk & Cookies Award for children’s entry and the O Holy Lights Award for religious theme, added Wilson. There will also be the “Knock your Stockings off” Award for the best entry overall, which always brings out plenty of serious competitors.
“We welcome friendly competition among float builders,” said Wilson. “It always builds up the number of entries.”
Also coming back to the scene is the choir and band competitions, which can win contestants the Herald Angels Award or Jingle Bell Rocking Award, said Wilson. Judging for all float entries will begin at 5:30 p.m., though the choir and band competitions start the show at 6 p.m.
The parade marshals have not been decided yet, but Wilson said she looks forward to driving them in the decorated vehicle again. Some of the tips the chamber offers to those entering the parade include spelling out the word Christmas with no abbreviation, no throwing of candy since it will be done at night, no political entries, those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, float cannot exceed 14 feet in height and contestants are asked not to dress as Santa Clause since there will be a person handling that role.
“This always presents an opportunity for families and friends to be united,” said Wilson. “For some this may be a thing that may have been a part of their lives for several generations.”
Charitable organizations or civic groups are welcomed to do holiday fundraisers if they contact the chamber ahead of time. 405-238-6491.