By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Preparations are under way for an annual Christmas tradition in Stillwater.
The 2012 Stillwater Christmas Parade of Lights will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 6.
Coordinator Collett Campbell said this year’s theme is “Christmas Carols and Candy Canes.”
“We definitely try to come up with a parade theme that allows the participants to have a variety of options on how they’re going to fit their entry into the theme,” she said.
The parade, held at night, requires lights of some form or fashion, on every entry. Candy will be passed out to those attending the parade.
“There is a competition component but you don’t have to enter that,” Campbell said. “You can just be a participant and not have to worry about that aspect of it.”
For those wishing to compete, they will be vying for first, second and third in categories including float, group and band. Cash prizes will be given to those who place. Other awards will be handed out such as best use of theme and the best use of lights. The first-place winner of the float category will carry Santa in next year’s parade. Stillwater High School FFA won last year and will escort Santa at this year’s parade.
Three judges from the community will decide the winners in each category. Last year’s judges included Stillwater Public Schools Superintendent Ann Caine and Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater.
The entry fee is $25 or a toy equal to that amount.
“We work with Operation Christmas, which is run by the Junior Service League,” she said. “The fee to enter goes straight to that.”
She said many of the participants make serious preparations months in advance.
“One that’s been really good the past couple of years is CareerTech,” she said. “They’ll contact me in the spring to figure out the theme so they can get started.”
Sponsorships are available at $150 each, with the money going toward prizes given for the competition and operating fees.
The deadline to enter the parade is Nov. 23. For more information, contact Campbell at 747-4817.