Holiday paradeskick off season

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its annual night-time Christmas parade at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

"Christmas is such an exciting time in Cassville," said Mindi Artherton, chamber executive director. "Our close-knit community has a lot to offer this time of the year. One thing in particular is our nighttime Christmas parade.

"We hope everyone will come into town early on Saturday and spend some time browsing the unique shops and take advantage of the dining options our community has to offer," said Artherton. "The chamber is so grateful to everyone that is part of the parade. It takes a lot of time and money to put together an entry for the parade, and we really appreciate those that go the extra mile to make sure our parade is fantastic."

Parade entrants will begin lining up at the Cassville High School parking lot at 4:30 p.m. The parade will proceed down Main Street and end just past Pizza Hut at Farm Road 2182 or Clover Street.

This year's parade will be led by Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, the Cassville Fire Protection District, Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr and Mayor Tracy Holle. American Legion Post #118 will also present the Flag of the United States of America toward the front of the parade.

The Christmas parade will also feature nearly 70 entries, including holiday floats, bands and decorated automobiles. The horse-drawn entries and Santa Claus and his sleigh will bring up the rear of the procession.

Prizes will be awarded in religious, non-religious and commercial divisions. Parade judges will evaluate entries from the traditional judging site in front of the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville.

Awards will also be given to the best marching bands, flag or twirling groups, vehicles and horse-drawn carriages. The Cassville High School marching band will serve as the host band and be ineligible for prizes.

"Cassville is beautiful at Christmas time," said Artherton. "The businesses, homes and the town sparkle. I really encourage everyone to take a drive and look at all the beautiful lights.

"Everyone works so hard to make sure Cassville looks great during the holiday season," said Artherton. "The holiday lighting contest starts after the parade on Saturday, so that would be a great time to take a drive and see what creative things people have came up with this year."

For more information on the Cassville Christmas parade, call Artherton, at 847-2814.

Exeter Christmas parade

Exeter's annual Christmas parade will also be held on Saturday. This year's festivities, which are sponsored by the City of Exeter, will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Dale Mitchell, who serves as a volunteer firefighter and city volunteer in Exeter, will serve as grand marshal for this year's event. The parade will also feature horses, bands, floats, cars, tractors and Santa Claus. Santa will hand out treats at the Exeter Community Building after the parade.

A Christmas dinner will be offered at the community center prior to the parade. The event will be catered by C & C Country Store.

Meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Adult meals will cost $5. Children can dine for $3.

For more information, call the Exeter City Hall at 835-2823.

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