The annual Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade has made some changes this year, which is already receiving positive comments.
The parade, always hosted in downtown Sedalia, is normally hosted the first Saturday morning in December. This year the parade will take place in the evening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The alternate date will be Friday, Dec. 13 in case of inclement weather. The theme is “Your Christmas Story.”
Chamber Executive Director Debra Andresen said she is very excited about this year’s parade. She said that right after she began the position of executive director she spoke with Mayor John Kehde and he suggested the evening parade time.
“We were talking about different things and he asked me ‘have you thought about having a nighttime Christmas parade?’” she said. “I said ‘that’s a pretty cool idea.’ So, I got a committee together.”
She brought the idea before the committee and it was well-received.
“Everybody was really excited they thought it would be a great idea,” Andresen said. “Some of them said they know of other communities that do a nighttime parade. I hope it turns out great and I hope everybody in the community loves it.”
Andresen said the original daytime parade prevented some school bands from participating due to Saturday competitions. She hopes the night event will allow more bands to enter the parade.
“Normally we have anywhere from three to four bands attend,” she said. “So, we are really wanting to grow that. And, Smith-Cotton (High School) and Sacred Heart is going to have choir groups come down and sing carols before the parade starts, and kind of bring more of Christmas spirit down there.”
Last year there were 120 total entries and Andresen said she is hoping for more this year.
“Within those entries, some of them have two cars,” she said. “Or some of the motorcycle groups have 20 or 30 motorcycles. So, that makes it a lot larger than just 120 entries. I’m hoping too, we have a lot more floats, this year. That way people can decorate them with lights. I just think it’s going to be exciting.”
The evening parade time may also make it easier for some families to attend the event.
“I’m hoping that since it’s in the evening, we’ll get more people to attend,” she said. “After they get off work they can grab their kids and come down.”
Food trucks will be available throughout downtown for families to have dinner before the parade begins and shops and businesses will be open. Children will also receive a free glow stick thanks to Kyle Herrick, of Bryant Motors, who is providing 1,000 of them.
Registration to enter the parade is $20 for three vehicles plus $5 for each additional vehicle, float, horse or car. Motorcycle entry rates are up to five, $20; six to 10, $25; 11 to 15, $30; 16 to 20, $35; and 21 to 25, $40. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Nov. 15.