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Christmas parades, tree lightings scheduled

By Chanel Bingham | Special to the Advertiser

Mark your calendars and join the fun as Chilton County kicks off the holiday season with the annual Christmas parades and tree lighting ceremonies.

The city of Jemison will hold a tree lighting ceremony Nov. 24 at city hall.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with a Living Nativity drama presented by the youth of First Baptist Church of Jemison.

Following the nativity, a communion service will take place at 6 p.m. in the auditorium. At 6:30 p.m., the official lighting of the tree will commence.

This year’s tree stands 18 feet tall.

At the conclusion of the tree lighting ceremony, everyone is invited to the auditorium to enjoy live entertainment. Hannah Tierce, Laura Vinzant and Scotty Gothard will perform, along with Hannah Ellison and Chloe Belle Miodrag, who will play the violin.

A special highlight of the evening will be a guest appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Pictures with Santa will be provided by Sarrell Dental Center, who will take and develop pictures on site. Photos are free of cost and will begin at 7 p.m.

Beginning at 11 a.m. on Dec. 5, Jemison will host its annual Christmas parade. The parade is a long-standing tradition, with the first parade taking place in 1972.

This year’s participants include the fire department, Jemison High School Marching Band, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, pageant queens, several local car dealerships, local residents, and of course, Santa himself.

The grand marshals of the parade will be “Mr. and Ms. Jemison,” along with the winners of Jemison’s Got Talent: Mirna Manasco, Hannah Tierce and Chloe Belle Miodrag.

The parade will begin at Jemison High School and travel down Highway 31 to end at Jemison First Baptist Church.

If you would like to participate in this year’s parade, you can pick up a registration form at Jemison City Hall, located at 24747 U.S. Highway 31.

The town of Thorsby is also hosting its annual Christmas parade on Dec. 5, beginning at 9 a.m. Parade participants include Thorsby High School Marching Band, pageant queens, the mayor and council members, along with the town’s football league, local dance teams and Santa Claus.

Mayor Jean Nelson said the arrival of Santa atop a big, bright fire truck is always a crowd favorite.

The parade will line up on Montgomery Avenue near Daddy’s Kitchen before crossing over to Highway 31. The route continues down Highway 31 and then loops back to Montgomery Avenue at Richard Wood Park.

Applications for parade/float registration will be available at Thorsby Town Hall until Dec. 4.

On Dec. 12, the town of Maplesville will hold its annual Christmas parade, sponsored by the Maplesville Volunteer Fire Department.

The festivities begin with a float contest, with cash prizes being awarded for first, second and third places.

There is no entry fee for the contest, but parade participants must fill out an application at town hall.

All floats, buggies and/or golf carts must be at the Maplesville High School parking lot by 3:30 p.m., and judging will begin at 4:15 p.m.

At 5 p.m., the Christmas parade will begin and travel from the high school to the Transportation Department before looping back to the high school.

This year, there will be a surprise grand marshal, along with lots of parade participants including several local churches, businesses, cheerleaders, football teams and various floats.

Santa Claus will make his parade appearance riding in a sleigh.

In keeping with tradition, the city of Clanton will also host both a tree lighting ceremony and Christmas parade.

This year’s tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 3 in Downtown Corner Park, located at the intersection of Second Avenue North and Sixth Street.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck at 5 p.m. and will be handing out little “Santa” bags filled with candy. Santa will also be available for pictures, so make sure to bring your camera.

West End Baptist Church will be offering hot dogs with all of the fixings at no cost. They will be located near the courthouse parking lot.

This year’s ceremony will be emceed by Sally Pitts. At 6 p.m., Mayor Billy Joe Driver and council members will usher in the Christmas season with the lighting of the tree.

Following the ceremony, everyone is invited to enjoy an amazing line-up of live entertainment including skits, dance performances, singing and more!

On Dec. 4, the Rotary Club of Chilton County will host Clanton’s annual Christmas parade, and this year is looking to be one of the best on record.

“Every year it has grown,” Rotary Club president Denise Evans said. “Last year, we had 77 participants, which was an all-time record. We think we are going to beat that number this year.”

The parade will start with a competition of the floats at 5 p.m. The first-prize winner will receive $150, second place $100 and third place $50.

For those wanting to participate in the parade, registration forms can be picked up at Clanton City Hall (505 Second Ave. N.) or The Clanton Advertiser (1109 Seventh St. N.).

Also, the Rotary Club has made the registration form available online. Just visit their Facebook page at “Rotary Club of Chilton County” for details.

Please note that those who have already submitted a registration form are being asked to submit it again, as there was a glitch in the software that prevented it from processing.

The deadline for registration is Nov. 28. If submitted after that date, there will be a late filing fee of $25.

The Christmas parade will begin at 6 p.m. and will be full of festive floats and entertainment, including a special appearance by Santa Claus. Civic groups, churches, schools, local citizens and even horse riding clubs will also take part in the fun.

This year’s grand marshal will be Judge Sibley Reynolds.

“We wanted to honor him for his efforts in helping to bring the hospital to Chilton County,” Evans said.

The parade will follow its traditional route, beginning on Fourth Avenue North and proceeding to Seventh Avenue North before looping back on to Sixth Street and ending at Third Avenue North.

All events are free to the public, and everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy these community traditions.