Christmas parades start next week

christmas_lights_jspad800* Christmas comes early for both Fulton and Mantachie, which will be hosting their annual Christmas parades next week.

Sure, depending on what day of the week a reader scans this story, the Thanksgiving turkey may be either uncooked or still digesting. Either way, it’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Itawamba County.

In less than two weeks, communities across Itawamba County will be hosting their annual Christmas parades, drawing hundreds of people in the mood for a little Christmas spirit. Those who want to come out are encouraged to arrive early, as the best spots tend to fill quickly.

Fulton

The city of Fulton will play host to its annual Christmas parade next Thursday, Dec. 5, beginning at 6 p.m.

The parade will make its way from the Itawamba Community College campus up east on Wiygul Street before turning on Clifton and traveling west on Main Street. Lineup for the parade will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Those planning to attend should arrive downtown early to claim a space, as the event tends to attract hundreds. There will be floats, bands, classic cars and even an appearance from Santa Claus himself, so everyone —  young and old —  are encouraged to attend and join in on the merriment.

For those who participate, there will be a bounty of cash prizes for the three best floats in the parade. First place will receive $300, second will receive $200 and third will take home $100.

Spots in the parade lineup are still open. Those who wish to join in need to call Fulton City Hall at 862-4929 and reserve a position.

As part of the parade, area Boy Scouts will be collecting canned foods for the local food pantry. Attendees are encouraged to bring a can or two with them to the parade. Scouts participating in the parade will pick the cans up along the route.

Mantachie

Mantachie will be holding its annual Christmas parade two days later on Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning at 2 p.m. Lineup for participants in the parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Mantachie Attendance Center, and all participants will need to be lined up by 1:30 p.m.

The parade will start at Mantachie Attendance Center and move through town up Highway 371 to Hodges Street, giving hundreds of spectators a chance to join in on the fun (those with eagle eyes may even see Saint Nick himself). The grand marshals of this year’s parade include the members of the Mantachie High School Band and the Mustangs football team.

Prizes will be awarded to the best floats of the day — $50, $35 and $25 for first, second and third places, respectively. There will also be trophies handed out to various other participants, including first, second and third place prizes for horses and best antique car.

Anyone interested in joining as part of the Mantachie Christmas parade should contact Dan Walton at 282-7450. The Mantachie Lions Club sponsors the parade annually.

Ozark

The Ozark community will host its annual Christmas parade on Saturday, Dec. 14, beginning at 1 p.m.

Lineup for the event will begin a noon at Ozark Baptist Church. Everyone is welcomed to take part in this fun event; just arrive in time for the line up to join the parade. Those who just want to spectate are invited to park along the parade route and enjoy the sights.

For more information about the Ozark parade, contact Deborah Foster by calling 662-397-3593.

Evergreen

The residents of Evergreen will be hosting their 13th annual Evergreen Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. Anyone and everyone is invited to participate in the parade; lineup begins at 9 a.m. at the Evergreen Community RCDC building.

For more information on the Evergreen Christmas parade, contact Larry Nichols at 662-963-1421, Mary Jo Heard at 662-842-0926 or Reggie Horton at 662-963-0480.

 adam.armour@journalinc.com

About Adam Armour

Adam Armour has been writing and taking photographs for "The Itawamba County Times" since 2005. His words and pictures have earned 11 Mississippi Press Association Awards, including several "Best of" category recognitions. He has written and independently published one novel and is currently working on a second.

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