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Christmas event plans under way

Christmas Parade Chairman Rita Rich admits to having her armtwisted to organize the Christmas Parade long enough ago that sheis uncertain of when she first felt her arm being tugged. However,this will be her last year to orchestrate the event.

“I’ve always loved planning the parade,” Rich said, “I can do itwith my eyes closed, but physically I don’t need to keep doingit.”

Rita admitted that the physical demands of keeping up with theparade are getting to be too much after she hurt her knee during aChristmas parade two years ago. She also said that she has mixedemotions about leaving the parade, but next year will be her yearto enjoy the festivities.

Until Rich can enjoy the parade as a spectator, she will be workingon this year’s event.

The parade, sponsored by the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce, will be themed “Season of Giving.” The procession isscheduled to begin at 7 p.m. downtown on Dec. 2., and will followthe same route as previous years.

High school bands and various floats will follow area volunteerfire trucks from Cherokee Street, past the U.S. Post Office, to thechamber of commerce, toward the Lincoln County-BrookhavenGovernment Complex, past State Bank, past First Baptist Church, toMonticello Street, then back to the Lincoln County PublicLibrary.

In addition to floats, bands and firemen, spectators can expect tosee Miss Merry Christmas, Les Belles dé Hospitalite, or Santa’selves, and parade grand marshal Doc Harrison throwing candy andwaving to onlookers.

Rich said Miss Merry Christmas will be chosen by two out of townjudges based on the criteria of character and scholarship and willdisplay Christmas spirit. Also, she must be a high school senior orno older than 21 and a resident of Lincoln County.

The application deadline for Les Belles is Thursday, Oct. 21, andthe application deadline for Miss Merry Christmas is Friday, Nov.5, prior to the contest on Monday, Nov. 8.

A committee of three members will choose the group of Les Bellesbased on similar criteria as the Miss Merry Christmas contest.However, Les Belles will be ninth grade girls and submit referencesand optional letters of recommendation.

Rich said the parade and its participants help boost Christmasspirit. The parade’s length is dependent upon the number of floatsthat are entered, but is expected to last at least one hour.

“You never know how many floats there will be,” Rich said, “Itdepends on the community.”

The parade chairman said those interested in entering a float,participating in the contests or volunteering should contact thechamber of commerce.

“We’re always very appreciative of the people that participate andwatch the parade,” Rich said.