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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Christmas in the Park will come to life with a parade for the second year in a row, as Christmas lights in Fair Park will come on as the parade begins.
“We are so excited to make this a great community event,” said Pat Swindell, Christmas in the Park committee member.
The 2nd Annual Christmas in the Park (CITP) Parade will be Nov. 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving or on Saturday, Nov. 28, depending on Bobcat football playoffs. The parade will start at 6 p.m. in the Childress High School parking lot.
The route will be approximately two miles, as it winds around Fair Park Stadium, down Avenue I and through the park. Swindell encourages people to park their vehicles on Avenue I and in the park.
“We invite the public to participate with floats, buggies, old tractors, vintage cars, decorated bicycles and golf carts,” Swindell said. “Entry forms will be available soon.”
Floats will line up in the Childress High School parking lot like they did last year, Swindell explained, and this year there will be a Best in Show award.
That’s not the only new element. Judy Johnson, Christmas in the Park committee member, said there will be a Charlene Smith Memorial Christmas tree. A marker will recognize Smith’s efforts to start the CITP effort in 1996 with her twin sister, the late Jeanene Johnston, and her efforts after Jeanene’s death to keep the CITP tradition alive.
The family of the late David Galligan started the memorial, and Johnson said the community has honored Smith’s legacy with donations. Since the Treasure Hunt has been canceled, Johnson said Santa Claus will also be a part of the parade.
“We look forward to this being a Christmas tradition,” Johnson said. “We hope next year both traditions (Christmas in the Park Parade and the Treasure Hunt) can be coordinated. With the Treasure Hunt, it will be a bigger and brighter event.”
For questions, people can contact Pat Swindell at 940-585-8455 or Judy Johnson at 940-585-8208.