Annual LaGrange Christmas parade to celebrate Carmichael and ‘Miracle on Main Street’
Bobby Carmichael, a long-time community leader who recently retired as executive director of the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority (DLDA), will serve as the grand marshal for the 42nd Annual LaGrange Christmas Parade on Nov. 29 in downtown LaGrange.
The theme for this year’s parade, “Miracle on Main Street,” was inspired by Carmichael’s accomplishments in his role at DLDA and the leadership he has provided through decades of community service.
“The revitalization of downtown LaGrange is due in part to Bobby’s vision and collaborative spirit,” said parade coordinator LeTisha Smith. “Working in conjunction with the Callaway Foundation and city officials, Bobby played an integral role in the planning and negotiations that resulted in completion of several projects, most notably, the opening of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Lafayette Square.”
A native of Columbus and graduate of Auburn University, Carmichael began his career with Synovus in 1980 as vice president of Sumter Bank & Trust in Americus. In 1990, he was promoted to president of CB&T in Manchester and was named president and CEO of Commercial Bank & Trust in LaGrange in 1991. For more than 20 years, he has been a champion for business growth through his involvement with the chamber, industrial development authority and downtown development. Serving as chamber board chairman in 1996, Carmichael spearheaded efforts to move the chamber offices to its current location. In 2011, he became executive director of the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority and Development Authority of LaGrange and launched a plan in partnership with the Callaway Foundation and City of LaGrange to make the community one of the top economic development destinations in the southeast. In recognition of these efforts, the chamber awarded him the 2016 Tom Hall Award for Innovation and the grand marshal designation upon his retirement earlier this year.
The parade festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Lafayette Plaza where Carmichael will join LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton to light the city’s Christmas tree.
The parade will follow at 6 p.m., beginning at Granger Park to downtown LaGrange along Church Street. It will continue down Bull Street to Broome Street and return up Main Street past Lafayette Square on its way back to the starting point.
This annual holiday tradition, presented by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, features floats, marching bands and a special guest appearance from Santa Claus to kick off the Christmas season. Entry forms can be found on the chamber’s website, at lagrangechamber.com.