By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald
The Main Street Lighted Christmas Parade will be “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” for only one night this year, but it will kick off a whole weekend of Christmas merriment.
The Lighted Christmas Parade steps off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, in downtown Oskaloosa.
“The route and the time is the same” as past years, Oskaloosa Chamber Events Coordinator Karen Hafner said.
There will be no parking on High Avenue from Third Street to Market Street from 4 p.m. until the end of the parade, Hafner added.
There are 60 floats registered for the parade — the same number as this past year, she said.
On Friday, Nov. 30, things will be different — instead of the parade, a community Christmas tree will be lit.
From 5:30 to 6 p.m., parade floats will be on display in downtown Oskaloosa.
“Anyone who wants to display their floats will do that around the square,” Hafner said.
At 6 p.m., master of ceremonies Jeff Akers will welcome people to the tree-lighting event that begins at 6:15 with the announcement of the winners of the float, home decorating and window display competitions. Also, the Young Ambassadors will be introduced.
At 6:30 p.m., Oskaloosa Citizen of the Year Steve Brown will flip the switch to light the community Christmas tree, Oskaloosa Chamber Executive Director Jon Sullivan said. The Christmas tree is 25 feet tall and will be topped with a 5 foot tall gold star. The tree is sponsored by donations from Oskaloosa residents and businesses, Sullivan added.
There also will be live entertainment at the event. Nashville recording artist Kassie will perform Christmas and country songs. Her performance is sponsored by Bank Iowa, Sullivan added.
In addition, Greg Grubb will sell cinnamon popcorn and a 4-H club will sell hot chocolate, s’mores, cider and baked goods near the bandstand area. On the south side of the city square, Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer will be on hand to hear children’s Christmas wishes. Paul Van Zante will be there to take photos of kids on Santa’s lap, Sullivan said.
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org