The holidays are here, and folks throughout Blount County are taking to the streets to participate in or watch the annual Christmas parades.
Organizations, ball teams, dance squads, marching bands and politicians will be waving to crowds and tossing candy to excited youngsters. Floats of all designs will be seen, from tractors and classic cars to flatbed trailers, four-wheelers, with folks in wagons, on horseback or in fire trucks. And don’t forget the marching bands and majorettes as they keep beat while making their way along parade routes.
It’s the holidays, and folks throughout the are making parade plans now.
Saturday, December 4
Louisville parade celebrates holidays, new town hall
The first parade will be the Louisville Christmas Parade which will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.
Linda Webb with the Town of Louisville said the line up will begin at 10 a.m. at Louisville Christian Church on Topside Road. The route will go down Topside Road, turn onto Louisville Road to the new town hall where a ribbon-cutting and dedication are planned, she said.
“The parade grand marshal will be former Louisville Mayor Geraldine Anderson, and the parade theme is ‘Hometown Christmas,’” Webb said. “There’s no charge, but people who plan to participate need to fill out an application for liability reasons.”
Applications can be picked up at the new town hall at 3623 Louisville Road or get one by fax by calling the town hall at 865-681-1983.
There will be tours of the new town hall. Light refreshments will be served.
Recreation and Beautification committee chair person Kay Swicegood said folks are looking forward to a good turnout and dignitaries like State Sen. Doug Overbey and Blount County commissioners Ken Melton and Gerald Kirby will be on hand.
“We have several floats and a lot of antique cars, a few tractors and some horses. We’ll have a some neat things. Louisville Mayor Tom Bickers will be riding in a horse-drawn wagon,” she said.
Saturday, December 4
Friendsville Christmas Parade shows off holiday spirit of community
The annual Friendsville Christmas Parade is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.
The parade route begins at Friendsville Elementary School on East Fourth Avenue, turns left onto North Farnum Street, right onto West College Avenue, right onto North Morgan Street, left onto West Second Avenue, left on North Young Street, right on West College Avenue, left on Church Street, left on West Hill Avenue, left on North Farnum Street and right on East Third Avenue, arriving back at the elementary school.
There is no rain date. For information call the Friendsville City hall at 865-995-2831.
Sunday, December 5
Townsend Christmas Parade brings holidays to the Smokies
The annual Townsend Christmas Parade will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5. with lineup beginning at 1 p.m. on Town Square Drive around the Townsend Post Office. The parade will travel from there down to Nawger Nob on East Lamar Alexander Parkway.
There is no cost to apply to be in the parade, and applications can be obtained on the website www.cityoftownsend.com. The theme of the parade is “Celebrating the Gift of Life.”
There are three categories: Large Floats, Small Floats and Horse and Pony Riders. For large floats, first place is $100, second place $75 and third is $50. These are BB&T Visa gift cards
The Small Float category includes motorcycles, golf carts, decorated four-wheelers, horse-drawn vehicles, tractors and automobiles like classic cars. First place prize is $50, second place is $35 and third place is $15. These are BB&T Visa gift cards
The Horse and Pony category prizes include first place - $35, second place $25 and third place is $15. These are BB&T Visa gift cards.
Shelia Moss, Townsend city recorder, said the parade continues to grow.
“We’ve never put a limit on the number of applicants. It has grown a little each year over the past three years,” she said. “Last year our parade was exactly 2 miles long and when the first entry in the parade was getting to Nawger Nob, the last horse was getting on the road at Town Square Drive. It was pretty big for our little town.”
Moss said people turn out from Townsend, Maryville, Alcoa and Seymour. “The community really enjoys the parade,” she said.
The grand marshal this year is former Townsend commissioner Paul Reynolds.
“The theme can be anything you take it to mean. One lady asked if it can be the birth of Christ, and you also can interpret it to be organ donation - anything in relation to celebrating the gift of life,” Moss said.
For more information, call 865-448-6886. David Wietlisbach and Mary Newman are parade co-coordinators.
Saturday, December 11
The Maryville Alcoa Jaycees Christmas Parade brings holiday spirit to town
The annual Maryville Alcoa Jaycees Christmas parade will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. Line up begins on Joule Street at 9 a.m.
Parade chairperson Randi Earley says the parade route is the same as in years past.
“We always start on Joule Street, cross Calderwood Street into New Midland Plaza, go through the plaza, turn right onto North Cusick Street, at the top of the hill it turns right onto West Broadway Avenue, goes through downtown and at the intersection of West Lamar Alexander Parkway and turns slightly right and ends at in the New Providence Presbyterian Church parking lot,” she says.
Plaques will be given for the best floats in the following categories: Church, Civic Group, Business, Sports Team, School Club, Antique Vehicle and Extra Ordinary Entry.
“It’s the same parade in that we are getting our community together to have a good time and provide fellowship for our community. As far as how it is different, I’m hoping it will be bigger than in past years,” she said. “We would like to have between 100 and 150 applicants. It is a big way for the community to get together and just celebrate the holidays.”
Earley said one change folks will notice is that instead of utilizing the Sanitation Santa sponsored by Maryville City Public Works, the Jaycees went with a traditional Santa float this year. The move was made after communication with the community, and Maple Lane Farm has agreed to sponsor the new Santa float, she said.
“Our grand marshals this year is the family of Joshua Covington, who was a mainstay of the Christmas parade. He lived for the Christmas parade,” Earley said.
Covington marched in the Alcoa Middle School and Alcoa High School band. “He was driven by anything Christmas or Disney-related,” she said.
Covington died two weeks after his 30th birthday last year of pancreatic cancer after a six-month battle. “As a tribute to him and his love for our Christmas parade, we are going to let his family be grand marshals, and they’re ecstatic. That is our way of honoring him,” she said.
To obtain a parade application, go to the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, the Daily Times, email Earley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 865-556-5033.
Saturday, December 11
Rockford celebrates holidays with annual parade
The annual Rockford Christmas parade will be a 2 p.m. with line up in the Littlebrook Industrial Park at Singleton Station and Cusick roads. The route comes down Singleton Station Road to William’s Mill Road, from William’s Mill it goes to Old Knoxville Highway and Old Knoxville Highway to Little River Road and ends in the City Park.
Grand marshal will be the Jason Stinnett Band.
Rain date for the parade is 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12.
Terry Willett, city manager, said the number of applicants differs every year. “But it has been growing every year and sometimes we have as many as 75 participants,” she said. “It is a nice parade, and we’ve always been lucky with it.”
The city manager said the parade has become a traditional way for families to kick off the holidays. “I’ve been doing this 9 years, and I know they’ve had it probably 12 to 15 years,” she said. “We have a lot of repeat participants, and they really do enjoy themselves.”
Saturday, December 11
Greenback Parade starts at school
The Greenback Christmas Parade will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Greenback School.
The lineup will be at 10 a.m.
Leaving the school, the parade will turn left onto McTeer Road, left onto Tennessee Avenue to Highway 95, left to Oak Street, right to Morganton Road and left back to the school.