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Santa Claus, WWII veterans get ready for Brookhaven Christmas parade

Motorists should expect road closures and traffic delays Thursday afternoon as downtown Brookhaven prepares for the arrival of Santa Claus.

The parade will roll Thursday beginning at 6:30 p.m. on West Cherokee Street, taking its usual route through the downtown area, said Katie Nations with the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

That means cars parked along the parade route should be moved by 5 p.m., she said. BPD will begin to close streets at that time.

The parade starts at West Cherokee Street and turns right onto South Whitworth Avenue at State Bank. It then turns left on West Chickasaw Street and turns left onto South Railroad Avenue and right onto East Cherokee Street. It takes a left onto South First Street and a left onto East Monticello Street and crosses the railroad tracks to end at the Piggly Wiggly at West Monticello Street.

The theme of the parade is “All-American Christmas,” and the grand marshals will be World War II veterans who will ride in a heated van at the front of the parade. Santa Claus will make his appearance at the end of the parade.

All floats should report to the Exchange Club Park loop for placement from 3 to 5 p.m. Preview judging will take place from 4:30 to 5 p.m. in the loop and additional judging will occur along the parade route.

Individuals, groups, vehicles and motorcycles should report for line-up at 5 p.m. on Cherokee Street from Brookway Boulevard to South Jackson Street.

The parade will start with the fire brigade followed by the grand marshals’ vans. Miss Merry Christmas Allie Claire Townsend will be up next and she’ll be followed by Miss Lincoln County Hospitality Shelby Flumm and the rest of the parade entries and area bands.

The Chamber will host Santa Claus on a special sleigh at the end of the parade, Nations said. Santa and the Chamber’s Junior Ambassadors will toss candy to the crowds.

Nations said McLane Southern has donated “tons of candy” for Santa and his merry “elves” to throw from the last two floats.

Santa and a different sort of elf will be featured at an inaugural Chamber event a few days after the parade.

Nations said the Chamber is hosting Meet and Greet with Santa and the “Elf” movie event on the front lawn of the Mary Jane Lampton Auditorium at MSA Saturday.

MSA choral students will perform at 5 p.m., then Santa and his sleigh will be available for selfies from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. “Elf” will be shown on the outdoor big screen beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The Brookhaven Tourism Council is providing complimentary popcorn.

“Bring lawn chairs or blankets,” Nations said. “It should be a really nice, fun time.”