Annual parade preparations underway

Published 2:16 pm Monday, November 26, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Preparations for the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Twilight Christmas Parade are underway with lots of lights, fun and imagination.
This year's theme is "Imagine a Fantasy of Lights," but Chamber executive director Emilie Mims said the Chamber has had many different themes throughout the years.
"My children are now in their mid-30s," Mims said. "I can remember standing on the streets with them as toddlers to watch the parade."
The parade has occurred in Atmore for many years. Mims said the Chamber has photos of the 1950s Christmas floats.
The Chamber encourages float participants to use hundreds of lights and to let their imaginations soar.
Bands, floats and walking groups have already signed up for the parade, but there is still time to sign up.
To participate, pick up an entry form at the Chamber office located in the Atmore Area YMCA &Community Center and turn it back in before Dec. 3. A $25 entry fee will be charged for float entries, but there is no charge for marching bands, clowns and other characters and antique cars.
Floats in the parades will be judged. There will be cash prizes for the winners. First place will receive $300, second place will receive $200 and third place will receive $100.
The Chamber will also acknowledge winners of the "I" award with a plaque. The "I" award is the entry that is the most innovative, interesting and inspirational float. A plaque will also go to the winner of the "AHH" award, which means the float has the right mix of lights, color and sound to create the "ooh" and "ahh" factor.
A representative from each entry is required to attend one of the two safety meetings, held on Dec. 4 and Dec. 6. Both begin at 5 p.m. and will be held in the Y building.
According to the Chamber, the bands that typically participate in the parade include the Escambia County High School Marching Band, the Flomaton Marching Band, Northview High School Marching Band and the J.U. Blacksher Marching Band.
Gulf Wind Federal Credit Union will be sponsoring the parade and the Chamber is coordinating the event.
The parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Atmore City Hall. It will proceed down Ridgeley Street and turn on to Main Street. It will then travel south to Lindberg Avenue where it will end at Escambia County High School.
For more information, call the Chamber at 368-3305.

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