Santa's Coming to Town

Published 6:34 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
The Grinch may steal the show during the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas parade Saturday night.
Fortunately, he won't be able to steal Christmas, as hundreds of eager children and parents will await Santa's arrival to officially ring in the holiday season.
"Preparations are going great," Chamber of Commerce director Emilie Mims said. "The parade is a wonderful way for area clubs, churches, schools and businesses to participate in an event that each year enhances the holiday spirit within our community."
Mims said several of the organizations designing floats for this year's parade have chosen Dr. Seuss's classic storybook How the Grinch Stole Christmas sticking with the parade's theme, "A Storybook Christmas". Other float sneak peaks include, The Christmas Story, Frosty the Snowman and floats celebrating the real reason for the season, the birth of Christ. There will be an estimated 25 floats featured during the parade.
"One thing that is exciting about this year's parade is that it will be an evening parade, so all of the floats will be lighted," Mims said. "And of course, there will be lots of candy thrown."
The parade will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday. It will begin at Atmore City Hall, proceed down Ridgeley Street and turn on to Main Street and travel south to Lindberg Avenue where it will end at Escambia County High School.
"Actually yesterday, we got our fourth band," Mims said. "Band's always make it all the more special because a parade has to have bands. The more the better."
Marching bands scheduled to perform during Atmore's Christmas parade include, Escambia County High School, Northview High School, Flomaton High School and J.U. Blacksher High School. Besides floats and bands, several walking groups, featured twirlers, characters, princesses, beauty queens, Little League queens, cheerleaders and many more groups will participate in the parade.
To participate in the parade, obtain an entry form from the Chamber office located in the Atmore Lions Community Center and fill it out before Thursday morning. A $15 entry fee will be charged for float entries, which will be eligible for judging. There isn't a charge for participants such as marching bands, clowns and characters and antique cars.
Rules for float entries includes:
A representative from each organization participating in the parade must attend one mandatory safety meeting prior to the parade. The first meeting was held Tuesday night at the Lions Community Center and the second will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday evening.
Judging for floats will take place during the parade with a first-place prize of $300, second $200 and third $100. Judging will be based on creativity/originality, lighting, theme and overall appearance. Area bands will receive $100 each to help cover expenses.
"We're very excited," Chamber president P.D. Pollard said. "We're hoping that it will be one more step in the healing of all the wounds from the many storms we have experienced."
Mims estimates that the parade will be an hour long.
The Chamber of Commerce will also host Santa Claus in Heritage Park from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday evening.
"Preparation for the Christmas events is going very well," Mims said. "Atmore Heritage Park is almost completely decorated. Santa Claus at Heritage Park is a great event not only because it's a great opportunity for children to have their picture made with Santa, but there will also be free train rides and chili available. That's just a great memory maker for the kids in addition to the parade."
Professional photography packages by Captured Moments can be purchased for $10 and include a 5×7 and four wallets.
Judging for the Chambers Window Decorating Contest, which is also themed "A Storybook Christmas" will also take place Thursday evening and will be based on originality, theme and appearance. Merchants are asked to use white lights.
If you have additional questions regarding this event, please call the chamber office at 368-3305 or e-mail your question to atmoreal@

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