Parade rolls downtown Thursday

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2001

The Annual Brookhaven Christmas Parade is scheduled to carry”Messages of Hope” Thursday as it rolls through downtown.

“We will have the parade unless it’s a downpour,” said RitaRich, parade chairwoman, addressing concerns about possible weatherproblems.

The parade will get under way at 6:45 p.m. with the LincolnCounty Fire Brigade, and then Miss Merry Christmas Kate Porterleading the parade at 7 p.m., Rich said.

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“This is dedicated to all of our emergency care workers –firemen, police, medical and civil defense — all those who are oncall for an emergency,” Rich said.

Former Brookhaven Police Chief Fred McKee will serve as grandmarshal for this year’s parade. The “Messages of Hope” theme fitsin well with the current events in the world, Rich said.

The parade will follow its usual route, starting on WestCherokee Street and winding through downtown to end on MonticelloStreet.

Rich said there has been a great deal of interest in this year’sevent. Organizers were lining up parade entries Wednesday and anexact number of entries was unavailable.

“People have been really excited about the parade this year,”Rich said.

In addition to local and area bands, the Jackson StateUniversity “Sonic Boom of the South” Marching Band will follow partof the parade route and then put on a show at Brookhaven HighSchool’s King Field.

Beverly Howard, president of the Brookhaven-Lincoln JSU Alumniand Supporters chapter, said the band will give its last paradeperformance on Monticello Street between South First and RailroadAvenue.

After that, the band will go to King Field for its “AfterChristmas Parade Show.”

Money from a $2 donation for the show will be used to fundscholarships, Howard said. Tickets are available at Lee’s Texaco,Toot’s Florists, Ford’s Car Wash, Byrd’s Barber Shop and Williams’Mortuary.

Prior to the parade, Razzle Dazzle, a local children’s singinggroup will perform in Railroad Park in front of the chamber officesat 5:45 p.m., Rich said.

A new twist this year will be a trolley to carry the mayor andaldermen and supervisors during the parade. Rich was lookingforward to a great event and a great crowd to enjoy the annualevent.

“A parade is a part of America,” Rich said.