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Christmas parade set for Dec. 3

As everyone finishes their Thanksgiving celebrations, the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce is kicking preparation into high gear for the annual Christmas parade.

The parade will be held in the downtown area on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with the fire brigade beginning at 6:15 p.m.

This year’s grand marshal will be WLBT’s Maggie Wade. A native of neighboring Copiah County, Wade is an Emmy-nominated news anchor.

While pursuing a career in corporate law at Mississippi College, her ability in radio was discovered. She began at the school radio station, WHJT-FM, and was later hired at WJDX-MISS 103 as a radio announcer, marketing researcher and weekend news anchor.

Wade began her long tenure at WLBT during her senior year and has since worked as weekend weather anchor, news reporter, coordinator and producer of children’s program and news co-anchor. Wade received the 2014 Woman of the Year Award from the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women.

Earlier this month, the Chamber announced that no candy will be thrown during this year’s parade, per a Brookhaven Police Department recommendation. Although no incidents have happened so far, many children dart in front of vehicles after candy during the parade causing a dangerous situation.

The final float, Santa with the Les Belles des Hospitalitié, will give out candy at the end of the parade.

The late Harold Samuels revamped the Christmas parade in 1953, which prompted an increase in popularity in the annual event. That first parade consisted of many cars, three floats and fire truck. The Hazlehurst High School Band won the best float in 1953 winning a $50 grand prize.

Since then, the parade has grown to include marching bands, several fire trucks, floats and cars.