Atmore celebrates holidays

Published 5:47 am Thursday, December 4, 2008

By By Adam Prestridge
While Santa’s elves are busy in the North Pole preparing toys for Christmas Eve, the Jolly Ole’ Fat Man will be making public appearances around the world.
Santa Claus will be guiding his sleigh into Atmore Thursday afternoon for a photo shoot with boys and girls in Heritage Park. He will return to Atmore Saturday afternoon to ring in the Christmas season as he is featured in the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce’s Twilight Christmas Parade.
The Christmas parade will be the highlight of the busy weekend, ushering in the holiday season, but An Evening with Santa at Heritage Park, both sponsored by Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union, will get things started Thursday evening.
Boys and girls throughout the area will have the opportunity to whisper their Christmas wishes in Santa’s ear from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday and also have their photo taken by Peacock Photography. Parents can purchase picture packages for $10 including one 5×7 and four wallets or $18 including two 5x7s and eight wallets. There will also be hayrides and free hot chocolate and chicken and dumplings for those in attendance.
The Nursery Rhyme-themed Twilight Christmas Parade is set to begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening. Although the parade begins in the middle of the SEC championship game between Alabama and Florida, Vickery encourages everyone to come out and support the event.
The parade will begin at Atmore City Hall, proceed down Ridgeley Street, turn on to Main Street and travel south to Lindberg Avenue where it will end at Escambia County High School.
According to Chamber Office Manager Shelly Williams, more than 20 floats will be featured in the parade as well as four bands, including Escambia County, Northview, Flomaton and J.U. Blacksher high schools; the Atmore, Poarch, Nokomis, McCullough and Walnut Hill, Fla. fire departments; the ECHS NJROTC; the Abba Shriners; Escambia County Junior Miss Alaina Arnold; Cruisers Unlimited and numerous marching groups, twirlers and cheerleaders.
Williams added that for safety reasons, no candy will be thrown from floats until the parade reaches Main Street.
Float participants are encouraged to implement hundreds of lights and let imaginations run wild. Rules for float entries includes:
Judging for floats will take place during the parade with first ($300), second ($200) and third place ($100) cash prizes awarded. Judging will be based on creativity/originality, lighting, theme and overall appearance.
Plaques will be awarded for the “I” Award for the most Innovative, Interesting and Inspirational float and the “AHH” Award for the float that best utilizes its lights, color and sound for the for the “ooh” and “ahh” factor.
A Relay for Life chili cook-off will also be held Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. in Heritage Park. It will continue during the Christmas parade and end at 7 p.m.

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