Holiday Dazzle parade set for Nov. 23Though snow has yet to stick, it’s time to start gearing up for some festive fun, as floats are needed for the 2012 Holiday Dazzle on Main Parade.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Though snow has yet to stick, it’s time to start gearing up for some festive fun, as floats are needed for the 2012 Holiday Dazzle on Main Parade.
“It’s a Christmas parade — lots of lights and lots of music,” said Charlie Kourajian, of the Main Street Downtown Association. “Past surveys have indicated spectators like the music.”
This year there’ll be room for 100 parade units, with the lineup from 6 to 6:30 p.m. in McElroy Park and the parade starting at 7 p.m., all on Nov. 23.
The parade route stretches from McElroy Park, moving north on Second Avenue Southeast and then to Eighth Street Southeast, turning onto First Avenue. The parade draws to a close at Third Street North, after going over the railroad tracks.
Afterward, people are invited to go to Gladstone Inn & Suites for an after-parade party including a Christmas carol singalong and treats provided by Shady’s. There, parade winners will be announced.
The prizes will be a little bit different this year. Instead of dividing prizes up between different categories, such as amateur-built or civic or non-profit, every parade entry will be considered for a single first, second or third place award.
The first-place award will be $500 in chamber bucks. The second-place winner will receive $250 and the third-place winner will receive $100 in chamber bucks. The idea was for the money to be used for an office or group Christmas party for the people who made the float and their coworkers.
Parade judges will still look at the same qualities they looked at before — motion, lights, excitement, creativity, originality of theme, holiday spirit, materials, uniqueness and music.
Floats are not allowed to feature Santa Claus, because the final float in the parade always features Santa and Mrs. Claus. Lookalikes will be disqualified from the competition.
There are some other rules, too.
Candy must be handed out by walkers rather than thrown from floats, and any litter should be picked up along the parade route. Anyone handing out candy has to have someone walk along the parade route with a trash bag to help tidy up afterward.
Units shouldn’t exceed 13 feet wide or 60 feet long, not including tow vehicles. Floats should display the organization’s name and the unit number.
A fire extinguisher and repair tools should be accessible on each float. Generators, converters and batteries can be used to power parade units, but should be safely ventilated and partly enclosed to muffle noise.
It costs $25 for members of the Main Street Downtown Association and non-profits to be in the parade, and $35 for non-members. People should register by Nov. 19, when there will be a meeting for parade position assignments.
The Main Street Downtown Association is looking for a major sponsor to headline the parade for an annual fee of $2,000, and also for smaller-scale sponsors who would be featured on signs, posters and announcements.
The night of the parade, three sets of bleachers will be set out for spectators, and announcers will be along the parade route describing the floats.
“We prefer people not park on Main Street on the night of the parade,” said Corey Bayer, president of the Main Street Downtown Association.
Generally, the Holiday Dazzle Parade lasts about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, and it happens even if there’s snow or low temperatures.
“We have a committee in charge of weather,” Kourajian said with a grin.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at email@example.com