Christmas parade is next Wednesday

Posted November 23, 2022 at 12:44 pm

It’s been several years since Clinton County residents were treated to a Christmas Parade, and if all indications hold true, its return next week should be something to see.

A joint effort between the Clinton County Extension Office and the Clinton County Fair Board, the planned Christmas Parade is set to be a lead-in to next week’s annual Christmas at Home program.

Slated for Wednesday, November 30, the annual Christmas On the Square program will, for the first time, begin with a Christmas themed parade that will bring the holiday spectacle back in front of a Clinton County audience.

The parade portion next Wednesday’s lineup of events is being sponsored and put on by the Clinton County Fair Board, and according to Fair Board President Mike Matthews, there are currently at least 15 local and area sponsored floats entered in next Wednesday’s parade.

The theme for parade participation will be “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Hometown Christmas.”

Matthews told the Clinton County News this week that the parade route will be changed somewhat as well, with the lineup at the traditional spot for local parades, at the West View Shopping Center / Albany IGA parking lot in west Albany.

The parade route will differ from tradition, however, making a turn around the Albany First Christian Church and back toward the courthouse square, down Washington Street, and ending at the Clinton County High School parking lot.

Matthews noted that this would make the parade a “two-way event” for a short distance, from the former Haddix Funeral Home to the stop light, before entrants are again solo on the streets until they reach the high school parking lot.

Another change that has been made this week is that there will be no entry deadline for parade participations.

Anyone wishing to enter a float or any other parade entry, may do so up until the actual 3:00 p.m. starting time for lineup of the parade.

He noted that the parade would get underway at 5:00 p.m.

There are several categories that will be judged in the parade and prizes for first place in each category will be awarded.

Those categories include: decorated floats, decorated pickup trucks, decorated golf carts, holiday characters walkers, decorated horses/wagons, decorated cars/tractors and a people’s choice award.

Additional parade information may be obtained by calling Kelly Guffey (606) 340-7475, Christy Matthews (606) 688-0818 or Julie Thrasher (606) 688-7782.

Additional parade information may also be learned from the Clinton County Fair Facebook page.

Wednesday’s Christmas Parade will be held in between a host of other Christmas at Home programs and events planned around Albany that afternoon and continuing into that evening.

Christy Stearns, with the Clinton County Extension Office, told the Clinton County News that plans for the Christmas at Home events around the courthouse square area are coming together, but there is still a lot of work to be done between now and next Wednesday.

One aspect that concerns her the most is getting everyone who wants to be involved in any of the planned activities to get registered.

Whether it be the business window decorating contest, setting up a craftsdisplay, selling food, church activities or even the option of businesses around the courthouse square open staying open late, she urged that she be contacted at the Extension Office with that information.

Stearns noted that she wants to be able to properly advertise for anyone that is going to be involved in any aspect, and she hoped that anyone who doesn’t let her know of planned participation isn’t offended when their name doesn’t appear in advertisements, noting that she is preparing a schedule of events and doesn’t want to leave anyone out.

For the most part, she noted, booths of any kind will be located around the Foothills headquarters parking lot, where lighting is best.

Stearns said that anyone participating in any of those events should contact her by 12:00 noon on Monday, November 28, at the Clinton County Extension Office.

Also returning to the Christmas on the Square lineup will be the Benny the Blue Elf contest, with clues being given out on the Extension Office Facebook page beginning the following Thursday, December 1.

Following the parade finish, attention will return to the courthouse square area, and the Community Christmas Tree.

Stearns said that two performances are planned by local groups, including the Albany Elementary School Choir and the Clinton County Community Choir.

A brief religious message will be given by Stony Point Church Pastor Jim England, leading up to the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, at about 6:30 p.m.

Clinton County residents are urged to come out Wednesday afternoon, enjoy the activities and take in what is expected to be a “whopper” of a Christmas Parade.

“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like A Hometown Christmas” – right here in Albany!