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PAXTON — PRIDE in Paxton’s annual Christmas Parade will kick off at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of Taft and Orleans streets in downtown Paxton on Saturday, Nov. 24. Entries will include characters, floats, walking groups, antique cars and the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School mini band.
The parade’s theme is “Downhome Country Christmas.” The parade will be featuring Old MacDonald and his barnyard friends, and the mini band will be playing “Old MacDonald had a Farm.”
PRIDE is inviting businesses, marching units, bands, Christian and civic units, floats, antique vehicles, new cars, farm machinery, individuals and families to enter and participate in the parade. Anyone interested is asked to call Teri Hancock or Rhonda Blackford at 217-379-4245.
Judges will choose the best entries in the categories of religious, business and/or civic, and family.
Each year, PRIDE in Paxton’s Parade Committee picks a group/organization or good-will gesture to promote in the parade. This year, the parade will be promoting the Market Street Theatre in downtown Paxton, which is seeking to purchase a marquis for the front of the building. Cans for donations will be placed at various businesses.
PRIDE’s Christmas Parade Committee is made up of Teri Hancock, Rhonda Blackford, Mary Jarboe, Julie Elliott, Greg Herriott, Neal McHenry, Mike Griffin, Stan Fredrickson, Marcus Hancock, Katie Blackford and Denise Koonce.
Paxton’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, by the tree at the intersection of State and Market streets downtown.
During the event, the tree will be lit for the holidays, and holiday music will be provided. The crowning of the Paxton Park District’s Christmas prince and princess will also be conducted. Essay contest winners will also be announced, as well as winners of a coloring contest sponsored by the Paxton IGA. The Golden Star Award will be presented, as well.
The Vineyard Church will be serving hot cocoa and cookies during storytime following the lighting of the tree. Children attending will be given the chance to win a Christmas story book donated by the Paxton Carnegie Library.
Business open house
The annual Business Open House sponsored by PRIDE in Paxton is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at participating businesses in downtown Paxton. All businesses are encouraged to participate.
Following the open house, there will be a community sing-along at the Market Street Theatre from 4 to 6 p.m.