The annual Hogansville Christmas parade steps off at 6 p.m. Saturday downtown, with lineup beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Hogansville Elementary School and float judging starting at 5 p.m. The theme of this year’s parade is “Dreaming of Christmas Past and Future,” and will include a pair of grand marshals, Vivian Phillips and Frances Daniels.
Phillips ran the downtown clothing store, Phillips Dress Shop, for 43 years, before recently selling the building to Elaine Carr. Daniels worked for Phillips in the shop for 33 years. Both women say they “enjoyed every minute” of running the shop together.
Phillips is a Heard County native who moved to La-Grange when she was 7. She began renting the dress shop building from its former owners before buying it in 1966. Daniels, a Whitesburg native, moved to Hogansville with her first husband. She had been a regular customer at Phillips and worked at the local 5 and 10 store before becoming Phillips full-time assistant. The two went to Atlanta on buying trips and the store never was robbed during their years there, although they had a “backup plan” if they got scared. They would call Billy Spradlin, who then owned a furniture store next door, and say “Billy, we need a light changed.”
That was the code for Spradlin to come over and check on the women.
The shop is now “Mimi’s Dress Shop and Design Studio” and is run by Carr and Donna Arnold. Just like the previous pair of women, Carr and Arnold work on development and beautification projects in Hogansville, which pleases the former owners. Phillips called it “the best and most modern store in town.”
The parade is on a slate of events Saturday and Sunday in Hogansville. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. is billed as “A Day of Celebration and Shopping.”
n Children and adults can visit Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus directly after the parade at Treasured Mo-ments, 306 E. Main St.
n A Holiday Bazaar of Arts and Crafts and Food will be held in the West Georgia Children’s Theater all day at 402/404 E. Main St.
n A “Winter Fest with St. Nicholas” will be all day at 401 E. Main St., with baked goods and refreshments, children’s rides and a “festival of trees.” For those unable to come Saturday, the Winter Fest also will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 13 and Dec. 2.
n A car show benefiting Toys for Tots will be from noon to 4 pm. at Calvin Hipp Veterans’ Memorial Park. Participants must donate two new, unwrapped toys to be in the show. Fancy cars, funny cars, motorcycles and trucks also can join the Christmas parade at 4:30.
n Hogansville United Methodist Church will have its annual “living Christmas cards” display on the lawn of the church from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. The church also will have more than 100 nativity scenes on display from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
n Roger’s Barbecue Trading Post and Music Hall at 1863 E. Main St. will hold a free Christmas singalong concert from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Entertainers include Ralph Lynch and friends, Don McMichen, Clint Sledge and Bobby Jones.
West Point’s Christmas parade will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 11, beginning downtown and traveling through Lanett and Valley, Ala.
For the first time in many years, and to the pleasure of many downtown West Point merchants, the parade will travel down Third Avenue. The street had not been used for the parade previously because of safety concerns, because it also doubles as U.S. 29. The parade will begin at the corner of Third Avenue and West 10th Street and ends at the Valley Wal-Mart parking lot.
“We are always striving to make the parade bigger and more enjoyable for all, and taking it right down West Point’s main street is a wonderful step,” said Phyllis Bishop, West Point’s Better Hometown coordinator and parade chairwoman. “For those coming to see the parade, it’s a great opportunity to come a little earlier to explore new downtown shops while waiting on the parade to begin. When the parade starts, you’ll already be in place to watch as it comes right down Third Avenue. Like the ‘good old days,’ you can sit or stand along our downtown West Point sidewalks or wait to see it farther south in Lanett or Valley. Any place you see it along the route, it will be a great parade.”
Parade entry forms can be picked up at the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce office in Lanett. The entry fee is $35, but chamber members get a $10 discount for a vehicle or float and $10 for motorcycle or horse and rider. The deadline for entering is Friday.
“We already have a good number of entrants but there’s room for plenty more,” said Elinor Crowder, director of the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a great way to get literally miles of exposure along the parade route for your business or organization and it’s before one of the year’s biggest crowds. We have several new businesses taking part. Where else can you get such inexpensive advertising?”
On parade day, Dec. 11, the official line-up begins at 4 p.m. Registration for parade vehicles/floats only will be at the same location as last year – 15th Street and Fifth Avenue in West Point. Judging of homemade floats will begin at 4:30 p.m. and floats must be in the line-up to be judged. Riders on floats should be dropped off in front of Capital City Bank on the corner of Third Avenue and West 10th Street. Those needing to find where a float is located in the lineup or other information may go to the information booth on the west side of the former WestPoint Home corporate offices on West 10th Street and Fifth Avenue.
“Remember – this parade is a great holiday tradition that links our three cities,” Bishop said.
Jennifer Shrader can be reached at jshrader@ lagrangenews com or (706) 884-7311, Ext. 236.