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Final plans made for Christmas parade

By By Suzanne Digmon
Atmore's 2003 Christmas activities will include Breakfast with Santa, the Children's Christmas Parade and Atmore's twilight Christmas parade. These events will take place Saturday and are sponsored by the chamber of commerce.
From 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday, children are invited to "Breakfast with Santa" at the Watson Cabin in Atmore's Heritage Park. Children may eat breakfast and have their picture taken with Santa, which includes two 5×7 color photographs, for $8. Pictures will be mailed to parents within one week, or parents may come pick them up at the chamber.
The Children's Parade starts at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Main and Church streets in downtown Atmore. It is for children ages 12 and younger, and will include the Escambia County Middle School band, directed by Debra Smith. Participants may make floats out of almost any contraption they find, such as wagons and bicycles, or they may walk in the parade. The chamber asks that children do not use motorized vehicles for their floats. "We're looking for a day full of excitement," said Judy Pylate, member of the Chamber and coordinator of the parades for the last several years. "We usually have about 50 kids in the [children's] parade."
Atmore's Twilight Christmas Parade begins at 5 that evening. "Christmas Night of Lights" is the theme for this year's parade, which starts at City Hall, going west on Ridgeley Street. It will then turn left onto South Main Street and continue south up to Lindberg Avenue. The parade will turn left on Lindberg and end at Escambia County High School.
According to Pylate, Company A of the 711 Signal Battallion will be the Grand Marshals of the parade. This is the first time the Grand Marshal has been announced publicly prior to the day of the parade. Marching bands from ECHS, Northview High School and Flomaton High School will entertain the crowds with festive Christmas carols. Cheerleaders from all area schools, seated atop fire trucks from Atmore and Poarch Fire departments, will distribute candy and good cheer to all parade-goers. Many classic cars from Cruisers Unlimited Car Club will also be driving in the parade.
"We have close to 20 floats this year," said chamber of commerce employee, Shelley Williams. First National Bank, United Bank and Regions Bank will all have floats in the parade, as will Pepsi Cola, Johnson Ford, Precious Moments Day Care, American Legion Auxiliary Post 90, ECHS NJ ROTC, ECMS FBLA, Presley Street Baptist Church, Bratt Assembly of God, Atmore First Assembly of God, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Unity Baptist Church, Doug Snider Roofing, Buttons and Bows &Lollipop Lane Day Cares, VFW Post 7016, Atmore Cub Scout Pack 26 and Goodwill Chapter 845 O.E.S.
There will be a second safety meeting at 5 p.m. tomorrow at the chamber of commerce for float participants in the twilight parade. The first meeting was held Tuesday night, and attendance at one of the safety meetings is required for the occupants of all floats.
You may contact the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce at 368-3305 or Judy Pylate at 446-4663 with any questions.