Holiday events begin Dec. 2

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday’s storms ushered in a cold front that will make temperatures ideal for the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce’s Twilight Christmas Parade this weekend.

Parade-goers will need to bundle up Saturday evening for the annual parade, which is themed “All Creatures Great and Small: Celebrate One and All,” as early forecast models project temperatures in the low 40s. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 from Atmore City Hall and will end at Escambia County High School.

Chamber Executive Director Sheryl Vickery said plans for the parade are coming together smoothly.

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“Everything is in order,” she said. “People are still calling to see if they can participate, so it’s all coming together.”

The Chamber has a full plate to say the least during the first week of December as it also prepares for the Jingle Bell Walk scheduled for 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday evening, an event intended to encourage shopping locally.

“We want to bring people downtown to shop,” Vickery said. “It’s a way to kickoff the holiday season to get residents in the holiday spirit. I encourage everyone to come downtown to shop.”

Vickery encourages residents to stroll the streets of downtown and enjoy the music, carolers and, of course, shopping.

“Make sure you bring a pocket for of ‘jingling’ coins,” she said.

She added that the merchants have been very supportive of the Christmas retail event.

“I’ve asked everybody to decorate, have refreshments and to invite their customers and their friends downtown,” she said.

Less than 48 hours later, the Twilight Christmas Parade will light up Main Street.

Vickery said participation in this year’s parade is comparable to past years.

“We have 19 floats, a lot of walkers, several homecoming queens and cheerleaders and some antique cars,” Vickery said. “This parade to me is the buzz. Plans for it begin in July and to see it materialize is amazing.”

Marching bands participating this year include Escambia County, Flomaton and J.U. Blacksher high schools and Ernest Ward Middle School. Northview will be unable to attend due to a football playoff game in Jacksonville, Fla. Friday night. The Shriners, Cruisers Unlimited, several area fire departments and the Pow Wow Princesses will also be on hand.

In addition, the parade will feature many of the floats from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ annual parade scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday on the reservation.

The second of two mandatory safety meetings will be held at 5 p.m. tomorrow night, Dec. 2 at Atmore City Hall. Each entry is required to have a representative attend one of the two meetings to discuss parade safety rules.

All float participants should be in line by 3:30 p.m.

Walgreens (gold sponsor) and David’s Catfish House (silver sponsor) are sponsors of this year’s parade. Atmore Animal Hospital and Lee Veterinary Clinic are the two partners of the Parade. Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union is the 2010 Corporate Partner.

Santa in the Park will also be held next Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Heritage Park sponsored by Frontier Communications. Children will have the opportunity to have their photos taken with Santa Claus and enjoy free refreshments.