The holiday season is upon us and the annual Christmas parade, themed this year as "Under the Christmas Tree," will take place starting at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5. The parade will begin at Higginbotham’s and the Nolan County Plaza shopping center parking lots where the line up and judging will take place at 4 p.m. Pull floats in line, from the old IGA to the cable company ready to be judged at that time. At 4:30 p.m., the parade will proceed West on Broadway to Pecan Street where it will turn north and park on Pecan Street for float participants to disperse. Candy may be thrown carefully to the crowd. Entries are not required to be lighted, just decorated. Walking entries are welcome, as are strollers, dogs on a leash, skaters, those riding scooters, bicycles or go-carts. Small children must have an adult walking with them. And remember, as always, Santa cannot be on a float's entry, not even an inflatable. Santa will be the entry of the Special Projects and Events Committee of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. Two cash prizes will be given for “Most Creative Children’s Entry” and “Overall Theme.” Those wishing to enter the parade may do so up until noon on Monday, Dec. 5. Registration forms are available at the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce.
Also right after the parade, Mr. & Mrs. Claus from the parade will be on the lawn of First Financial Bank for photo opportunities. First Financial Bank will provide hot chocolate and Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital will provide cookies for those visiting with the Clauses.
The Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce will also be sponsoring the annual residential lighting contest for the Sweetwater and Roscoe communities. A group of judges will drive around town Dec. 12-14, to judge all homes entered in the contest with Christmas decorations and lights on display.
Chamber Executive Vice President Jacque McCoy said that homes should keep their lights on each night from 5-9 p.m. because no one will know when the judges will be driving by to look at the decorations.
First and second places will be awarded to each of four quadrants in Sweetwater. There will also be first and second place winners in Roscoe. The winners of the home lighting contest will have a sign placed in their yard and a cash prize. First place in each quadrant will win $50 and second place in each quadrant will win $25.
Judging will occur in the following areas:
• Section 1 is south of Broadway and east of Lamar.
• Section 2 is south of Broadway and west of Lamar.
• Section 3 is north of Broadway and east of Hailey.
• Section 4 is north of Broadway and west of Hailey.
• Section 5 is the city of Roscoe.
To register for the residential lighting contest, call the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce at 235-5488. McCoy stresses that there is no cost to enter. Registration information needed includes name, address and telephone number.
All entries must be received by noon on Dec. 12.