Night parade moves to Saturday

Two-day Christmas fest starts Friday, includes Santa, kids’ events, entertainers
Reporter Editor

Downtown light s are up in advance of weekend events. Downtown light s are up in advance of weekend events. Santa’s coming to Rockdale but he’s coming on a different day of the week than in years past.

Rockdale’s annual night-time, lighted Christmas parade will glitter from downtown to Fair Park at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, ending a two-day holiday celebration that starts Friday.

Since the start of the night event in 2001 there have been nine consecutive parades on the first Friday night in December.

This year the parade has been moved to Saturday for a variety of reasons, according to Denice Doss, Chamber president.

“We feel we will have a bigger parade with more out-of-town participation,” she said. “It’s hard for out-of-town people to get here on a Friday evening and many have asked us if we could move the parade to Saturday.”

“In past years that would have conflicted with the Cowboy Ball which was held on that Saturday,” she said. “That event is no longer held, so we’re moving the parade to Saturday.”

FRIDAY STROLLS— There will still be plenty of events on Friday evening.

A “Stroll Through Downtown Rockdale” is billed from 5 to 8 p.m. with many businesses staying open late and strolling musicians and entertainers throughout the area.

Several events will be going on during that three hours including a “children’s stroll and costume contest” at Wolf Park.

Signup is 5:30 p.m. with the stroll, around Wolf Park and Milam Street, at 5:45.

Prizes will be given for Best Bicycle, Best Victorian Costume, Best Elf and Best Christmas Theme.

Relay For Life will sell luminarias for $5 each from 5 to 6 p.m. and a luminaria roll call is set for 6:15 p.m.

Rockdale’s official Christmas tree will be illuminated in a 6:45 p.m. ceremony by Genie Newton, who will serve as grand marshal for the parade the next night.

SANTA AND MORE— Saturday activities start at 9 a.m. with arts and crafts, food vendors and entertainment, including Austin Shriners, throughout the morning and afternoon.

The International & Great Northern Historical Depot-Museum will be the site of model train and antique toy displays.

Kids can participate in story time in the depot’s caboose.

Santa and Mrs. Claus, will be set up inside the depot to hear the wishes of area children from 1 to 5 p.m.

The North Pole’s first family will ride a float in the 6:30 p.m. parade which winds its way from downtown to Fair Park.

There’s still time to enter the parade by calling the Chamber at 446-2030.

“No candy will be thrown from floats this year due to safety concerns,” Kristi Moreland, parade chair, said.

MORE FUN— Several other activities will be going on during the weekend.

Market Day— Saturday is Rockdale’s quarterly Market Day with booths set up downtown and several locations along US 79.

St. Joseph’s Bazaar— The Ladies Society of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar in the church’s education building beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Items include baked goods, arts, crafts, a silent auction and chili, chicken stew and sandwiches will be on sale.

MA RC— The Milam A ssociation for Retarded Citizens (MARC) will hold a craft sale at Rockdale Signs beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday. (Story, page 5B.)

NATIVITIES— Nativities collected from around the world will again be featured during a two-day open house Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 310 Calhoun.

Admission is free. Hours on will be 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. (See page 4B.)

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