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Hyde-Smith picked to lead Christmas parade on Nov. 29

If you’re not already starting to get in the Christmas spirit, then perhaps the 2012 Brookhaven Christmas Parade will help.

     Brookhaven/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfield said the 2012 version of the parade will roll on Nov. 29, which is one week after Thanksgiving. Usually the parade falls on the first Thursday in December, but due to the early Thanksgiving this year, it will be earlier.

     “It seems early this year, but it’s the way it fell,” he said. “In order to keep things up with schools and others we work with, we try to keep it consistent.”

     So far, Brumfield said, not many have signed up to participate in the parade. But he thinks that will soon change.

     “It’s only been a handful at this point, but we do expect more to come on board,” he said. “With next week being Thanksgiving, we expect more activity after that.”

     Brumfield wanted to remind people that they can still sign up.

     “We’ll take registrations up to the day before the parade,” he said.

     This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Christmas.” The grand marshal will by Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith.

     Hyde-Smith said she was excited to be named grand marshal.

     “I’m very honored to be chosen,” she said. “I’m very humbled by the people of the committee who selected me. Brookhaven is such a wonderful place to call home. It means a lot to my family and me.”

     The annual parade is part of Brookhaven’s history and dates back to the 1950s.

     “It’s one of the longer running parades in the state,” Brumfield said. “It’s always one of the longest parades as far as watch time in the southern part of the state. We expect this year’s parade to be as big an exciting as parades in years past.”

     Marching bands from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Brookhaven High School and Alexander Jr. High will provide musical entertainment.

     There is also potentially one special entertainment group coming.

     “The Jackson State Alumni Association is working to get Jackson State University’s band in,” said Brumfield. “They would make a great addition.”

     The event usually attracts a great deal of people and helps stir economic activity.

     “The parade brings out several thousand usually, both locally and from surrounding communities,” Brumfield said. “We hope people come early and take advantage of the shopping experiences that are here. We expect a strong shopping crowd that afternoon, weather permitting.”

     In the event of rain, Brumfield said the parade would not go on.

     “Unfortunately it’s not rescheduleable, because it’s just too difficult to coordinate with everyone involved,” he said. “In recent years we’ve enjoyed great weather and we hope this year we do as well.”

     The parade’s traditional route will be unchanged for this year. It will begin at the post office on West Cherokee Street and run through downtown before ending just west of the intersection of Monticello Street and Whitworth Avenue.

     Brumfield said people have always enjoyed the parade and its tradition.

     “It’s something that we hope to maintain,” he said.