Christmas parade registration has been slow so far

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

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VALLEY — Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount told the Valley City Council on Monday that the pace has been slow this year for people signing up to be in the annual Valleywide Christmas Parade. Approximately 40 entries were committed at that time. That’s half of what normally enters the annual parade.

“A lot of people usually wait till the last minute, and that’s OK,” Blount said. “We’d just like to have a turnout similar to what we usually have.”

Thus far, no local high school bands have made a commitment to be in the parade.

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There’s still time to enter, but the deadline is fast approaching. Entries will be taken until 5 p.m. EST next Tuesday, Dec. 5. The parade will be taking place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7. Entry forms are available at Valley Community Center. Any street legal vehicle is eligible to be entered. There’s a $35 entry fee that drops to $30 with the donation of five cans of food. After the parade, the food will be divided equally between the Christian Service Center and the Interfaith and the West Point food closets.

There’s a fee of $10 per horse that takes part in the parade.

Just before the parade starts, the Valleywide Parade Committee will select the first, second and third-place winning floats in the community, business and school divisions.

Local Christmas parades have been taking place for many years. Up until the early 1980s, they were sponsored by the West Point Merchants Association and took place in downtown West Point. The holiday parade eventually expanded to take in all three local cities.

Lining up for this year’s parade will take place between the lower level of the Cherry Valley Shopping Center and Valley Point (formerly Bluffton) Funeral Services in Lanett. The parade will roll out on North 12th Street, turn left onto West 4th Avenue in front of the Corner Store in West Point and proceed three blocks north to the Point University campus, where the route turns right for one block to West 3rd Avenue, where it takes another right and continues through the heart of downtown West Point and recrosses the state line into Lanett on Highway 29.

The parade then continues over a long stretch of highway into Valley, where it will disband on the parking lot outside Walmart.

Police departments in West Point, Lanett and Valley will be providing traffic control all along the route.