Tuesday, December 01, 2009

TOP STORY >> Santa will visit area at Christmas parades this weekend

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus took part in last year’s parade in Ward. It is hoped they will be back again on Saturday.

Christmas parades are happening this weekend in Jacksonville, Sherwood, Beebe, Ward and Austin.


Santa’s coming to Jacksonville at 1 p.m. Saturday in a brand new sleigh accompanied by three area school bands and a slew of floats, dancers and gymnasts.

Laura Peeples of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce is excited about this year’s parade. “It’s our 52nd year. The parade is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit by watching all the children have a good time and celebrate the holiday season with their friends and families,” Peeples said.

The parade will probably last about an hour and a half and will begin at the corner of School Drive and Main Street and will end at Main and Second streets.

“Something new in the parade is Santa’s sleigh,” Peeples said.

The sleigh was built and decorated by Dave and Joy Kinman along with Blake Walker, Dalin Kinman, Don Horton and Jimmy Huffman.

“They have put many hours into the making of this wonderful addition to the parade and I will be so excited to see the looks on the kids’ faces when they see the sleigh with Santa coming down Main Street,” Peeples said.

The school bands include North Pulaski High School, Northwood Middle School and Jacksonville High School. The bands will entertain with classic Christmas music as they travel down the parade route.

There will be two different dance schools and one gym from central Arkansas that will take part in the parade activities as well as beauty queens from the Cityfest and Miss Jacksonville pageants.


Beebe’s Christmas parade will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The event is sponsored by the chamber of commerce. This year’s theme is “Christmas Stories.”

Parade floats will be judged at 5:30 p.m.

Awards will be given in four categories: civic, commercial, educational and religious.


Ward’s Christmas parade will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Participants will line up at 4 p.m.

After the parade, there will be a tree-lighting ceremony at city hall.

Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served in the city gym with an auction hosted by the Back Alley Youth Center.

Entry applications for the parade are available at the reception office at Ward City Hall.

For more information, call 501-843-7686.


Sherwood’s Christmas parade will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6.

This year’s theme is “The Stars of Christmas.”

The event is sponsored by the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 501-835-7600.


Cabot’s parade starts at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 with a theme of “A Red, White & Blue Christmas.”

The grand marshals will be Cabot veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert-Storm and Iraqi-Freedom.

The Arkansas Military Vehicles Preservation Association will have a number of jeeps and vintage military trucks in the parade.