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Christmas parade plans going exceptionally well

By By Adam Prestridge
Santa Claus should be impressed when he arrives in Atmore Dec. 2 for the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's Twilight Christmas parade.
According to Chamber executive director Emilie Mims, plans for the big event are going extremely well considering a month remains until the parade rolls out of City Hall.
"Plans are going great thanks to the hard work of Shelley Williams, Lisa Reynolds and Brenda Coleman," Mims said. "They picked a 'Christmas at the Movies' theme and have come up with a list of 50 or 60 movies to choose from. The community has been very receptive to the theme and we're getting lots of calls to participate."
Currently 15 floats have signed up for the parade, which Mims said is highly unusual this early in November.
"That's a lot of floats to have this early," she said. "So I expect that we'll have 20 or more floats before it's over with."
Last year, 18 floats were featured in the twilight parade.
The format of the parade has changed from day to night and back to day several times throughout the year. Mims said the night parade has proven to be the bigger hit.
"The night parade is definitely very popular," Mims said. "More people are able to come and it's prettier. It's more exciting. Of course safety is an issue at night, but we have some pretty strict rules for participants to abide by and that certainly makes us feel safer."
Mims said there is always room for more floats and organizations to participate and encourages clubs, churches, schools and businesses to sign up to be a part of the event.
The parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Mims said float participants need to be in line by 3:30 p.m.
The parade will begin at City Hall and end at Escambia County High School. A mandatory safety meeting will be scheduled later this month to discuss unloading instructions for floats and other rules.
Judging for floats will take place during the parade with the first-place float taking home a $300 prize. Second wins $200 and third claims $100. Floats are judged on creativity, originality, lighting, theme and overall appearance. New this year, the Chamber will acknowledge with plaques the "I" Award for the entry that is most innovative, interesting and inspirational and the "AHH" Award for the entry whose lights, color and sound comes together for the ooh &ahh factor. Area bands will receive $100 each to help cover expenses.
Due to hardships in the past, if rained out- there will be no reschedule.
Please review the rules below regarding float entries:
The Chamber also encourages walking movie characters or clowns because they are able to interact with the crowd. They are always very popular with the children.