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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Preparations underway for Kennett Christmas Parade

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Santa float cruises down First Street during the 2011 Kennett Christmas Parade.
(File photo)
Now is the time for the citizens of Kennett as well as businesses, organizations and schools to mark the calendar for Kennett's second annual Christmas parade.

According to Meg Benson, executive director with the Chamber of Commerce, and Sara Graves, executive director of the Kennett Revitalization Program, the parade will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 and will begin at dark.

Benson and Graves both noted that parade organizers wanted to get the word out as soon as possible regarding the date and time since this year's Delta Fair Parade was so successful.

Graves said, "We want to remind everyone that the parade is coming up, how they can participate and the prize money that is available for this year's parade."

Prize money will be awarded to the top floats as follows: First Place, $250, Second Place, $150, and Third Place, $100.

Again, entrants to the parade are being asked to "think outside the box" regarding entries.

"Since so many area towns have Christmas parades, and we want as many floats, and bands, etc., as we can get, we didn't want to miss out on anything because people had already booked with another parade. So, if they want to be part of the Kennett parade which we'd love them to do, that's why we thought let's get the word out early about the date since it is a relatively new tradition and just in it's second year," Benson said.

According to Benson, Graves worked hard in making last year's parade a reality after a 60 year absence.

"We had a lovely mix last year of floats and marching bands and other unique entries and we want to encourage that again. We saw it this year at the Delta Fair parade. People are just getting more creative with their float entries," she said, adding, "We just want to encourage that type of thinking for the parade entries once again."

The parade will depart from the Southeast Missouri University/ Kennett branch parking lot on First Street and take route towards the downtown court square ending at the First Baptist Church parking lot. Graves noted, "This parade route is unique to other parades in Kennett. It travels backwards and ends downtown. This gives Santa an opportunity to meet with Children, for patrons to enjoy the KHS choir and for parade goers to get in last minute shopping in the shops downtown."

"We'll work on the line-up, I would say, probably a couple of days before the parade," Benson said. She added that the deadline for entries will probably be Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.

The 2011 parade not only attracted thousands of spectators from Southeast Missouri but also Northeast Arkansas. And if they weren't watching it live and in person, they were tuning in to the live broadcast on YHCTV, Channel 21. Entries last year included a mule team, festive holiday floats, Santa on a Harley, local officials, marching bands, and the school choir.

Graves added that this year's parade will continue the grand celebration of fun and excitement that will be had by one and all and will feature a very special Grand Marshal, holiday floats, marching bands, horses, and of course, Santa himself!

Benson noted the beauty pageant queen winners are also welcome to enter and urged that any winners who enter the parade should have won a holiday-themed contest.

If your business, school, or organization would like to be featured in the parade, contact the Kennett Chamber of Commerce at (573)888-5828 or by e-mail at info@kennettmo.com.

The Kennett Christmas Parade is a project of the Downtown Kennett Revitalization Program, the City of Kennett, and the Kennett Chamber of Commerce.

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