October 27, 2012 6:43:57 PM
Plans are underway for the Columbus Christmas parade and its theme of "Going Green -- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle." Participants in the Dec. 3 event are encouraged to use recycled and reused materials in float construction. Applications are available now for the much-anticipated downtown event, which will begin at 7 p.m.
"The 2011 Christmas Parade was canceled due to rain last year so we are really looking forward to making this year's parade great!" said Main Street Columbus Director Amber Brislin.
Those who registered and did not request a refund for the 2011 parade can apply that fee for this year. In the unfortunate event of bad weather during the parade this December, a reschedule date has been set for the following Monday, Dec. 10. Parade registrants should be prepared to participate on the alternate date, if necessary.
Applications are due by Nov. 26 at the Main Street Columbus office at 107 Fifth St. N.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the parade, said Brislin. Parade entry fees are $35 for non-profit organizations, walking groups, floats, beauty queens and personalities. The fee for businesses is $50. Cash prizes of $75, $50 and $25 for first through third places will be awarded for Best Business Entry and Best Group/Organization Entry. An award of $50 will be given for Best Overall Band. Winners will be announced through local media following the parade.
"We are working to secure several local school bands, floats, Santa Claus, Miz Claus and special characters for the parade, so this year promises to just as entertaining as previous Christmas parades," Brislin noted. "We feel our theme will bring out a great deal of creativity in the community but will also be a theme where people can express themselves in renewing the spirit of Christmas."
The community is welcome to nominate candidates for Grand Marshal by contacting Brislin at the MSC office.
Other holiday events include the Downtown Christmas Open House Nov. 2-3 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Nov. 4 from 1-5 p.m.. Shops, salons and restaurants will be decked out for Christmas; many will offer sales, specials and promotions. Visitors to downtown can also register to win door prizes.
The Holiday Farmers' Market is set for Nov. 17, and Wassail Fest will take place Dec. 7.
Applications and a detailed parade route map are available at the Main Street Columbus office, or at columbusmainstreet.com. For more information, contact MSC at 662-328-6305.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.