By Kathryn Acree
So you say you’re ready to catch a glimpse of Santa and get in the Christmas spirit? Be prepared to enjoy the excitement of the season at the 11th Annual Chelsea Christmas Parade on December 18.
Local entertainment will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the grandstand positioned along the route just behind Winn Dixie. The parade officially begins at 10:00 a.m. on Highway 39 in front of Chelsea Intermediate School and turns onto Highway 47, ending at the Winn-Dixie parking lot.
The parade is a favorite event each December and when hunting a good spot to set up a chair and view it, “there are no bad seats” according to Gerri Roberts, GIS Coordinator for the city.
Last year’s parade consisted of 83 local groups and the crowd was estimated at around 5,000. Local businesses rent professionally made floats and toss candy and goodies into the crowd along with participants waving from cars and trucks. The Chelsea High School Marching Band will play while Chelsea’s schools and Youth Club sports teams participate with team members and cheerleaders.
The Mayor’s Award is given to the best-decorated amateur float. This year J.P. Dice and Tiffany Bittner from “Fox 6 News” are scheduled to be emcees.
Local Cub Scout troops will lead participants with the Stars and Stripes and there is always an abundance of beautiful girls riding in the parade. Miss Shelby County, Megan Picklesimer, will participate as well as Shelby County’s Junior Miss, Danielle DuBose.
Many local churches are also part of the event and decorate floats. There will be plenty of horses and antique cars in this year’s parade. To end the celebration, the city boasts it will have the “real” Santa to bring up the rear.
The parade is truly a special event in the city. “In Chelsea, it’s all about family,” explained Roberts, referring to the city slogan.