Christmas parade shapes up

Published 10:54 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

FRANKLIN—Christmas may be more than two months away, but organizers of the Franklin Community Christmas Parade are busy making preparations for the annual event.

“It’s important that the parade happen,” said Dan Howe, executive director of the Downtown Franklin Association. “It’s important that the community embraces it as a community event.”

The parade, themed “A Hometown Christmas,” will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in downtown Franklin.

Last year, the parade almost didn’t happen after the GFWC Franklin Junior Woman’s Club was unable to organize the event after eight years of doing so. City government, led by the Department of Parks and Recreation, staged the event at the last minute.

The DFA, in cooperation with other community organizations, is seeking participants for this year’s parade — with an emphasis on “community.”

“As we turn our thoughts to the holiday season with its traditions and memories, we ask all participants to tell us what they love about a hometown Christmas, with an emphasis on things that improve their lives or the lives of others in our communities,” Howe wrote in a letter to judges.

Parade entries will be judged in four categories: Most Creative, Most Enthusiastic, Best Interpretation of Theme and Best Overall.

Marching bands will be judged in three categories: Musical Talent/Christmas Selection, Marching/Performing Abilities and Crowd Reaction.

Registration forms are available at or can be picked up at the DFA office inside the train depot on Main Street, the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce on Third Avenue or the Department of Parks and Recreation on Oak Street.

Registration forms are due by Friday, Nov. 20.

Howe said members of the Franklin Tri-county Alumni Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority have been instrumental in planning and supporting this year’s parade and will likely serve as the parade’s grand marshals.

“We’re excited about the response from groups and individuals in support of the parade,” Howe said. “I have over 30 businesses and individuals that are helping sponsor the parade.”

While they’re busy planning the parade, DFA officials have several events before then, including the Downtown Franklin Trick or Treat on Oct. 30 and the Chili Cook-off and Downtown Christmas Open House in November.