Two very special guests are scheduled to appear at this Saturday’s annual Christmas Parade, but parade officials aren’t giving up too many secrets ahead of time.
“One guest, I can tell you, is Santa,” said Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce Director Angie Thompson. “He always closes out the parade and is a big hit every year. But the other entry, I can only say it’s new to Sedalia and it’ll be one of the first entries in the parade, so you’ll just have to keep an eye out for it.”
Thompson is hoping for big crowds at the annual parade, which will start at 10 a.m. and run from Seventh Street down Ohio Avenue to Main Street. This year’s theme will focus on a salute to the troops, she added.
“We had residents send in suggestions and we just thought with Christmas approaching, it would be nice to remember the men and women in our military and our veterans,” Thompson said. “To keep with that, our grand marshal this year is Lt. Col. Chris Nieman, commander of the 509th Security Squadron out of Whiteman Air Force Base.”
Thompson estimated four or five floats and 135 entries will be in the parade this year, up slightly from last year’s numbers. The weather is a concern — with temperatures predicted to hover around 30 degrees — but Thompson said she’s hoping the tradition will encourage people to come downtown.
“The Chamber has been putting on this parade for more than 50 years, it’s become a beloved tradition in Sedalia so we really are hoping people will just bundle up, bring blankets and mugs of hot chocolate and come on out,” she said.
For those wanting to get a head start on the festivities, the third annual Jingle Jog is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The 5K run/walk will begin at the Katy Depot, 600 E. Third St., and will take a route to Liberty Park, then double back to the Depot for refreshments afterward. Those interested should register by 8 a.m. that day, Thompson said.
“It’s going to be a cold day, but a fun day,” Thompson said. “It’s always a fun, family-friendly event and I hope we’ll see big crowds downtown enjoying the day.”