Christmas Parade Just around corner

Published 4:44 pm Monday, November 26, 2018

By Jeremy Weldon

The annual Christmas Parade in Batesville is taking shape and organizers are hoping for mild weather and good community participation. The office of Santa Claus turned his application in early this week and has already been assigned the last spot in the festive procession.

While Santa knows his spot already, Mark Shields said he is waiting until the next week to make out a lineup because several floats will have live music this year and he wants those to be spread throughout the parade.

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The parade will roll along Boothe St. and around the Downtown Square starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Floats, vehicles, and other entries should be lined up on Watts St. at 6 p.m. Enid Lake Baptist Church has undertaken the project of parade organization, and Shields has been the point person for the planning.

Shields, a City of Batesville employee, has also worked this year to keep Christmas music playing from the speakers on the Square. With the help of local radio voice Johnny Pace and UndefinedRadio owner Chad Martin, the city has been broadcasting the holiday tunes from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with a few glitches as wireless issues were worked out.

The music has been popular again this year and Shields said the city has received good feedback for the effort. “When we have a problem and the music goes off, I promise you somebody is going to be calling me very soon,” he said.

Also playing on UndefinedRadio, the internet radio station that airs Pace’s morning show, the Local Yokels show, and Crenshaw Mayor Oscar’s Barlows programs, are holiday greetings recorded by Pace for the community. Anyone wishing to record a greeting can contact Pace through the website.

Shields says he believes the parade will have about 50 floats, and a wide assortment of emergency vehicles and other vehicles including antique cars and trucks. No ATVs will be permitted in this year’s parade. Bands and other groups and organizations are expected to march in the parade.

This year’s theme is “Christ – The Light of Christmas” and float entries are encouraged to carry that theme. The Batesville Mayor and Board of ALdermen voted this week to have City Hall employees buy candy for distribution to children during the parade.

The Police Department is urging citizens to be careful the night of the parade because children will be walking along downtown streets.