The annual event kicks off the Dyer County Christmas season with both fanfare and tradition. And this year, the event keeps participants who would like to enter floats in mind. With no set theme for its 2012 event, the Dyersburg Christmas parade offers local organizations the flexibility to stretch their imagination and the freedom to enter more than one local parade.
"What I would like to see this year is even more involvement than last year in the float-building community," said Dyersburg-Dyer County Chamber of Commerce Director of Downtown Development Steve Guttery.
Guttery said the 2011 Dyersburg Christmas Parade saw a significant increase in float entries. Parade organizers would like to continue that tradition by easing the strain on industry, civic organizations and church groups interested in entering a float in the Dyersburg event.
"We want to make it as easy as possible to enter a float," said Guttery. "We know it's expensive. We want to encourage residents to get together and have a nice project. We know that once they finally commit to building a float, they want to put it in as many parades as possible and we want to facilitate that. That's why we chose not to have a theme for our parade this year."
Categories available for those who wish to enter include Commercial Float, Civic Float, Church Float, Antique Vehicle, Scouts, Bands and Pageant Winners. All entries must be submitted by 5 p.m., on Monday Nov. 19 in order to meet the deadline.
Entry forms may be faxed to 286-4926; mailed to the Lannom Center, 2000 Commerce Ave., Dyersburg, TN; or emailed to Steve Guttery at email@example.com.
All late entries will be placed at the end of the parade.
Guttery said organizers are stressing safety this season, as well.
For the safety of the children in the audience, parade organizers request no candy or other items be thrown into the crowd. Those participating in the parade may arrange to have someone walking alongside their entry to pass out goodies to the children.
No four-wheelers are allowed in the parade and no burnouts are permitted from any vehicle.
Only one Santa Claus will be allowed to enter. He will ride the last float at the end of the parade.
Commercial food or merchandise vendors must pay $75, with commercial entries (other than floats) paying $50. All non-commercial float entries are free and may enter the Civic or Church category.
Lineup will take place on Lake Road between Market and Forrest streets at 5:45 p.m.
Bands will enter Cedar Street from South Main Street and line up behind the Dyersburg Police Department. Bands are requested to line up by 6 p.m.
Members of the Dyer County Adult Leadership class will again work as volunteers at the parade as part of the students' year-long curriculum.
The parade will begin on West Market Street, with the route turning left on Mill Avenue, left on Masonic Street, left on Church Avenue, right on Court Street and right onto King Avenue.
A rain date for the parade has been set for 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Those interested in additional information may contact Jan Jernigan at 288-3573 or Steve Guttery at 285-3433.