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Christmas parade to start at 6 p.m. EST

LANETT — Close to 50 entries have committed to this year’s Valleywide Christmas Parade.

The parade will start lining up Thursday afternoon in the parking lot next to the Cherry Valley Shopping Center, and the parade will get underway at 6 p.m. EST. Sheriff Sid Lockhart and the three local mayors, Steve Tramell, of West Point, Kyle McCoy, of Lanett and Leonard Riley, of Valley, will be near the front along with this year’s grand marshal, an employee of EAMC-Lanier Hospital.

Health care workers have widely been seen as the heroes of the pandemic. Many thousands of them across the U.S. and the world community have risked their lives every day in their unending efforts to save the lives of others. The healthcare workers at EAMC-Lanier are this year’s honorary grand marshals at the Valleywide parade.

There will be lots of monster vehicles in the parade, including fire trucks and police vehicles from the local departments. Santa Claus will once again be featured at the end of the parade. He will be aboard a Huguley Fire Department truck. Team members of KMMG will be driving some brand new Kias that were recently manufactured in West Point. Rambo, the Valley High cheerleaders, majorettes and the Valley High Band will be bringing holiday cheer and Christmas music to the parade.

The parade will roll out of the parking lot between the shopping center and Bluffton Funeral Services at 6 p.m. and head north along West 4th Avenue. The route will turn right onto West 10th Street at Point University and proceed one block to West 3rd Avenue where it will take another right and go through downtown West Point. West 3rd becomes Highway 29 at 7th Street. From there, the parade will go south for several miles through Lanett and into Valley, where it will disband in the parking lot at Valley Walmart.

Given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the turnout has been considered good at the Christmas Merry Go Round in Valley. Starting on Monday, Dec. 14, the hours at the merry-go-round will be lengthened from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday to noon until 9 p.m. The hours will remain the same on the weekend as the merry-go-round will open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 21-23 the hours will be 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day, and on Christmas Eve, the hours will be 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It has been a long-time tradition for the Merry Go Round season to end at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24.

On the next two weekends, Ballard Party Rentals of Opelika will have their miniature train and their mechanical bull at the carousel. Batty’s Barbecue and Dessert Delights will be serving barbecue, chicken wings, hot dogs, fish sandwiches, catfish plates and funnel cakes.