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Wanted: Entries for holiday parade

A float makes it way down First Avenue during the Holiday Dazzle Parade in 2013. This year's parade has been moved to the Tuesday before Thanksgiving instead of the following day. Organizers hope the change will increase entries.JOHN M. STEINER | SUN file

By Alexandria Cremer

The Jamestown Sun

The Holiday Dazzle Parade will once again be decking 1st Avenue South with festive floats to ring in the holiday season. This year the parade will take place just before Thanksgiving, a change from previous years.

The parade is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, and will begin at McElroy Park, 1002 2nd Ave. SE. From there, the parade will trek down 8th Street Southeast and over to 1st Avenue South and will end just before the railroad tracks.

In previous years, the parade took place the day after Thanksgiving. The change to before Thanksgiving is because business organizations involved in the parade have had trouble getting volunteers to help with the floats during the holiday weekend, said Lynn Lambrecht, Jamestown Downtown Association president.

The parade currently has 17 floats registered, and organizers hope to register 30 before the event, said Charlie Kourajian, JDA ambassador. The first parade had 65 floats, and in recent years that number has declined to about 40, which also contributed to the date change.

“We figured if it was the Friday after Thanksgiving that was keeping people from participating, we’ll change it,” Lambrecht said.

The JDA is accepting applications for floats for the parade and will continue to do so up until the day of the parade, Kourajian said.

Kourajian said he encourages participants to decorate floats with a holiday theme, lights and music, if possible. Using Santa Claus decor is discouraged because the last float of the parade has Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus aboard, which is something the children in attendance get really excited about, Kourajian said.

Floats will be competing for trophies in four categories: best dazzle, most original theme, most outstanding amateur built and most outstanding civic or nonprofit float. The judging takes place just before the parade begins at McElroy Park. Floats will be judged for lights, motion, creativity, holiday spirit, theme originality and music. The judges have yet to be decided, Lambrecht said.

For nonmembers of the JDA, participating in the parade is $35. For members there is a $25 fee, and for nonprofit organizations that are unable to afford the fee, it may be waived, Kourajian said. The JDA is also accepting sponsors for the parade for $100, and if the sponsors also want to participate in the parade, their registration fee is then waived.

A party follows the parade at the Gladstone Inn & Suites. There will be cocoa, cider and cookies, and entertainment from the Jamestown Choralaires, a local male singing group that just celebrated its 61st anniversary. | (701) 952-8453