Christmas parade back on

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FRANKLIN—The show will go on.

According to Frank Davis, director of parks and recreation, the city’s annual Christmas Parade will occur on the traditional first Saturday of December.

The grinch that almost stole the cherished yuletide tradition has been foiled by a community effort, Davis said. The hero? According to Davis, it will be the members of the Franklin community themselves.

“What I’m doing is making an appeal to people within the community, to organizations, churches, marching groups, anybody to come, and participate because this is last-minute at its best, at its very best,” said Davis.

Following a meeting held earlier Tuesday morning with the Downtown Franklin Association, the Franklin-Southampton Chamber of Commerce and Franklin Department of Parks and Recreation, Davis stepped up to spearhead the event.

Teresa Beale, executive director of the chamber, is pleased to be a part of helping Santa make his annual circuit through Franklin,

“We are glad to help keep this tradition alive,” Beale said. “We will work with other groups within the community to make sure this parade goes on.”

According to Beale, “If everybody does their part, it will happen.”

This attitude is shared by interim City Manager, June Fleming, who was inundated with concerned callers Friday when prospects for the parade appeared grim.

“We can’t let the kids down,” Fleming said.

“We are just going to go for it and with everybody pulling together, there will be a parade.” Fleming added. Fleming also stated that she plans on returning each of the calls she received Friday and letting people know how they can help out.

The group’s effort to pull the parade together has been, in the words of Fleming, nothing short of “heroic.”

“We’ve got to make this thing go,” said Davis. “I’ve just started to get the word out. Everybody loves Christmas and a Christmas parade.”

Participants and volunteers of all capacities are needed. Registration forms can be picked up from Downtown Franklin Association as well as from the Chamber of Commerce and the Franklin Department of Parks and Recreation. The deadline for all applicants or volunteers is Dec. 6.

This year’s theme will be “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”