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This 2017 photo depicts the annual Christmas Merry-Go-Round that will return to the Valley on Nov. 30.

Dates set for 2018 Christmas celebrations

VALLEY — The dates and times have been announced for this year’s Christmas Merry-Go-Round and the Valleywide Christmas Parade.

The Merry-Go-Round will open at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 30 and will run until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

“We’re now taking reservations for school groups, senior citizen groups and churches,” said Valley Parks and Recreation Director Laurie Blount. “You may do that by calling us at the Community Center at (334) 756-5290.”

A holiday tradition that dates back to 1956, the Christmas Merry-Go-Round will be running from 5-9 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

There will be a Sleigh the Course 5k run on the CV Trail on Saturday morning, Dec. 8 and children can make gingerbread houses that afternoon.

Jackson’s Heating & Air will be providing their all-weather tent for the festivities for the second year in a row.

It was very popular last year and was a cozy place to be on those chilly nights on the Langdale tennis courts.

The Valley-wide Christmas Parade will be taking place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 6. It will proceed along the same route of the past several years, starting out from the parking lot between the Cherry Valley Shopping Center and Bluffton Funeral Services, crossing the state line into West Point before heading north along West 4th Avenue for a few blocks, then will take a right onto West 10th Street next to the Point University academic center and then will take the next right one block later across from Capital City Bank onto West 3rd Avenue. It’s then a straight shot all the way to Walmart in Valley, where the parade will disband.

Once the parade reaches West 3rd, it will proceed through the heart of downtown West Point, across the state line into Lanett, across the Overhead Bridge and then across the I-85 bridges into Valley, where it will continue along Highway 29 past the Bradshaw-Chambers County Library and then to the Walmart parking lot.

There’s a $35 entry fee to have a vehicle, float or marching group in the parade.

The fee is dropped to $30 with the donation of five canned goods. It’s $10 per motorcycle rider with the donation of five canned goods.

“The food will be evenly divided and donated to the Christian Service Center, Interfaith Food Closet and the West Point Food Closet,” Blount said.

Applications must be received at the Community Center, 130 Sportsplex Drive, Valley, AL 36854 by the end of the business day on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Community Center is open from 5 a.m. till 9 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

First, second and third-place awards will be given in the Business, School and Community categories.

The first-place winners will receive a perpetual plaque they can keep for one year.

Entry forms are available at the Community Center.

They must be filled out with a check for $35 or $30 made out to Tri-County Community Association, Inc.

In another continuing tradition, there will be a grand marshal for this year’s parade.

Who it will be will be announced at a later date.