You can almost hear those sleigh bells tingling as the Murfreesboro Christmas Parade makes its way down East Main Street and around the square at 2:00 o'clock Sunday afternoon, December 11, 2016.
This year's theme is "Star of Christmas" and Astronauts Rhea Seddon and Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson are the grand marshals. Rhea is a Murfreesboro native who became a medical doctor and used her training on three NASA flights. The retired Naval officer met Rhea while in the space program where he completed five missions. The two have retired to Murfreesboro where they have four adult children, several grandchildren and are both extremely active.
In fact, Dr. Seddon will be on the WGNS' Action Line from 8:00 to 9:00 o'clock on Monday morning, November 7th, to talk about the parade, growing-up in Murfreesboro, and tell about her book Go For Orbit. This book is a 2016 Ben Franklin Award Winner and it tells of her memories and adventures in space.
The deadline to enter the parade is at noon on Monday, November 28, 2016.
Parade Coordinator Angie Walker said, "Right now, you can enter electronically. CLICK HERE For those who enter electronically, they must use PayPal for the $12 entry fee to have the application accepted."
If you choose not to enter electronically, you may print the form that is on the WGNS' website and mail it along with your entry fee to the radio station at 306 South Church Street (37130). Please make your checks out to Murfreesboro Christmas Parade.
Walker stressed, "Make certain that the contact person's name, phone number, e-mail and mailing address are included with all entries. The information on the forms is used to communicate with each parade entry. If left blank, there is no way to give check-in directions to entries and other parade info."
She noted that it is also important to clearly describe the entry and the name of the entering company, group or individual.
"Keep in mind that this is a family oriented community event, and our first goal is to make it safe for everyone as well as in keeping with the spirit of the season and the parade's theme--"The Christmas Star". Certain vehicles, animals or anything that insurance regulators deem a potential danger for those at the parade will be pulled immediately from the line-up."
This is not an advertising opportunity, and coupons, flyers and other printed materials are strictly forbidden. The only thing that can be distributed is candy.
Walker underlined, "It is so important that children and adults who are actually in the parade know that candy must be handed to spectators and not thrown to the crowds. An entry was banned from the parade for one-year after numerous citizens complained of being pelted by candy as that float passed, and this was after they had been asked to stop throwing the candy."
Special THANK YOU
This is the thirty-first year that WGNS, your Good Neighbor Station, has coordinated the Murfreesboro Christmas Parade, but there are several other groups investing their time and talents to make this annual community event a success. Special thanks to ATMOS Energy for the Santa float, Franklin Synergy Bank for their work with the parade banners and manpower during the event, Murfreesboro Noon Exchange Club for their skills in checking entries in and then lining them up, Stones River Amateur Radio Club for keeping communications open between all areas of the parade, and the Murfreesboro Police Department who not only keep the parade route safe for everyone, but are involved in the planning that goes into this annual event. In addition, the Rutherford County Mounted Patrol from the sheriffs office helps around the very popular Santa float and with the equestrian entries at the end of the parade. And thanks especially to the dynamic duo: Lee Ann and Angie Walker for the job they have done as parade coordinators for our community over the decades. Angie has taken the lead role for the past few years.
Again, remember the deadline to enter the Murfreesboro Christmas Parade is noon on Monday, November 28th. Entries must be at WGNS by that time.