• 61°

Christmas parade draws near

It’s beginning to look like the holidays throughout LaGrange as the community readies for the 43rd annual Christmas parade, sponsored by the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. Roy Nichols, a long-time community leader who most recently retired as Interim Superintendent of Troup County School System, will serve as the grand marshal for the parade on Thursday in downtown LaGrange. According to the chamber, there will be 95 floats featured in this year’s parade. The theme for the parade, “Children’s Christmas Stories,” was inspired by Nichols’ love of children, his accomplishments in his roles in public education and the leadership he has provided through decades of community service. 

“Dr. Nichols provided the ultimate act of community service when he came out of retirement to lead the Troup County School System during the board’s search for a new Superintendent,” said Kirk Hancock, chairman of the Troup County School Board, in a press release from the chamber. 

All parade registrants contribute new, unwrapped toys as part of the parade registration process.  

“We partner with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots to collect toys, which are then distributed to children throughout Troup County,” said Kathy Tilley, chamber of commerce interim president. “The Chamber reminds everyone that the best gift this year is one that is given to someone in need.”

Parade spectators will have an opportunity to participate in the gift exchange. Volunteers for Toys for Tots will be walking and collecting toys along the parade route at the beginning of the parade. Spectators are asked to hold the unwrapped toys until the volunteers walk by their area along the parade route. The volunteer will take the toy to the vehicles where the toys are being collected. The chamber will also continue to collect toys. Bernard Bledsoe of the Charles F. Waller Marine Corps League Detachment 1040 indicates this is a great opportunity for parents.  

“If you are a parent or grandparent and want to teach a child about the true meaning of Christmas, let the child pick out a toy to give to someone else,” Bledsoe said. “The best kind of giving is a gift to someone in need.”

The parade will begin at Granger Park and head south on North Greenwood Street. All parents who are dropping off children that will be participating in the parade are reminded that no drop-offs will be allowed on North Greenwood, and no traffic will be allowed on Granger Drive except floats. There will be no parking on either side of North Greenwood Street in front of LaGrange High School or on Hunnicutt Place between North Greenwood and Granger Drive.

Before the parade from 3 to 5 p.m. children can take pictures with Santa, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Lafayette Plaza. The parade festivities will begin at 5:15 p.m. on Lafayette Plaza when Nichols will join Mayor Pro Tem Jim Arrington to light the city’s Christmas tree. 

“The forecast is for perfect parade weather,” Tilley said. “However, bring a jacket — Santa is bringing cool temps from the North Pole with him.”  

The parade will proceed rain or shine. For more information, please contact the chamber at (706) 884-8671.