Santa's Christmas Parade route to 'horseshoe' around square

This year's Distinguished Service Award recipient, County Judge Allison Harbison, will serve as grand marshal

Santa Claus is coming to town on Saturday, Dec. 5.

A slightly altered route for the annual Santa's Christmas Parade was approved by the Center City Council at a Monday afternoon meeting.

Due to continued streetscape construction on the downtown square the route will be varied from the traditional route used in most recent years, according to City Manager Chad Nehring.

The route will come onto the square on Tenaha Street and “horseshoe” around three sides of the square on Nacogdoches, Austin and San Augustine streets before exiting the square onto Cora Street. The one-block section of Shelbyville Street between the 1885 courthouse and Farmers State Bank will not be included on the route while work continues.

“It will be somewhat of a more traditional route, certainly more so than last year,” Nehring said. The parade is set for a 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 start with a lineup on Malone and Child streets.

Nehring said work is at a point that all four intersections can be opened to traffic for the period to include parade Saturday, he said.

“There should be plenty of viewing area even outside the square area itself and still have three solid sides of the square open for viewing in a safe fashion,” Nehring said.

He said asphalt has been installed on the third quadrant of the streetscape project and the contractor has indicated pavers should be installed at the intersection near The Rio this week or early next week.

Nehring said with the scheduled opening of the Shelbyville Street/Tenaha Street intersection at Logansport Street, the route will be able to cover three-fourths of the downtown square.

The parade is presented by Shelby Savings Bank. The theme for this year’s parade is “A Rustic Christmas,” according to Deborah Chadwick, president of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

In keeping with the holiday tradition, the Grand Marshal will lead the parade at 6:00 p.m.” she said. “Allison Harbison, the 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipient is this year’s Grand Marshal.”

More than 20 floats will make their way through the heart of downtown to delight the young and old alike.

  “Floats will line up on Malone Drive.  The Parade will go down Tenaha Street and around the downtown square, driving around all four corners and three sides, exiting onto Cora Street where it will start to disperse,” Chadwick said.

  COR Boutique, Mooney’s Emporium and Payne & Payne Home N’Suchlike will be hosting their Christmas open houses all day on Dec. 5, she said.

  “Thank you to this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Shelby Savings Bank,” Chadwick said. “Also, thank you to the City of Center, our Float Competition Sponsor; Farmers State Bank and Specter, Inc. our Silver Sponsors.”

Parade winners will be announced via media on Monday, December 7th.

Categories for the 2020 Parade will include: Individuals, Schools, Businesses, Churches and Civic Organizations. Judges will award cash prizes to the top three places in each category.

The Float Competition Sponsor is the City of Center.

Parade float entry registration is free and completed applications were scheduled to be returned to the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce office by Wednesday, Nov. 25.

While the parade remains on local holiday schedule of activities, the chamber's Taste of the Holidays has been cancelled due to the pandemic. The event was originally scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3.

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