Though it might be too early to make holiday plans, those who wish to participate in Columbia County's three annual Christmas parades shouldn't procrastinate.
The 25th annual Grovetown Parade will start at noon Saturday, Dec. 1, and coordinator Laura McManus said it gets bigger every year.
"Last year, we had over 83 entries," she said, "and this year we are anticipating even more. It's ... great fun for the whole community."
Participants will be asked to line up at 10 a.m. in the Summerfield subdivision off East Robinson Avenue. Parade applications are available at Grovetown City Hall; the Grovetown Public Safety building; or online at www.grovetownga.us. The deadline for returning applications is Nov. 23. Call City Hall at (706) 863-4576.
The Martinez-Evans Christmas Parade, put on by the Merchants Association of Columbia County, will take place Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m., and will be aired on WRDW-TV (Channel 12). Parade Chairman Reynold Borseth said the association is proud to be able to do this for county residents, and that it is always a lot of fun.
"We get marching bands from most of the county schools," he said, "as well the Scouts and many other groups. The last entry will be Santa, riding on a fire truck."
He said that unlike last year, this year's participants will be judged before the parade begins.
"We are doing it differently this year," Borseth stated. "That way, during the parade, participants can display the trophies or ribbons that they have won. Entrants will be judged at the Channel 12 TV stand."
Participants who wish to be judged are asked to line up in the field behind the Kroger in Evans no later than 11:45 a.m., and by 1 p.m. for those not wanting to be judged. There is no entry fee. Applications are available at Master Pontiac GMC, 3710 Washington Road; Kelley Appliance Center, 191 Baston Road; or Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 4424 Evans to Locks Road. The deadline for applications is Nov. 22. For more information, call Borseth at (706) 262-7238.
The city of Harlem's Christmas parade, sponsored by the Lion's Club, will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Participants will line up at Harlem Middle School on West Forrest Street at 9:30 a.m. Applications are available at Harlem City Hall. There is no entry fee; the deadline for turning in applications is Dec. 5. The parade is part of the city's annual Christmas in Downtown Harlem celebration, and City Administrator Jean Dove said there will be something for everyone.
"It all kicks off with 'Breakfast with Santa,'" Dove said, "which is really fun for everyone. The breakfast starts at 9 a.m. at Bailey's Deli. Then we have the parade, and downtown here we will have crafts and food booths. It's a really nice festival."
For more information, call Harlem City Hall at (706) 556-0043.
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