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Christmas Parade route announced

There are fewer times more whimsical than the holiday season. With the store displays twinkling with lights, the smell of cider and peppermint thick in the air and holiday spirit pumping through the veins of every city onlooker, the time of year is a fanciful break in reality and stirs within the community both imagination and excitement. To try to capture that essence, “A Storybook Christmas” is the theme for the 2006 Holiday Parade held in Downtown Suffolk.

The Parade will be held on Dec. 2 starting at 10 a.m. Parade fans can expect the usual highlights from this year’s parade as in years past, but can also anticipate new changes to the format.

Primarily, the parade route has changed.

This year the lineup of floats and entries will be on Saratoga Street. From there the parade will march down Carolina Road and straight on until North Main Street. The parade will then turn and end at the parking lot of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

Among the more than sixty entries in this year’s parade are bands from the local high schools, volunteer fire fighters and rescue workers, as well as various local organizations wanting to participate.

Each participant must create their entry around the theme of “A Storybook Christmas.” The deadline to submit an entry has been extended until 5 p.m. today. Interested parties can apply online at www.suffolk.va.us The application is under Special Events in the Quick Links menu.

Entries will compete for the awards Best Float, Best Band, Best Dance/Step performance, Best Animal Unit and Best Walking Unit. Event organizers are encouraging float creators to think outside the box when it comes to float design. They can recreate classic scenes from Christmas movies such as “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” “A Christmas Story,” or even “The Nutcracker.”

Yet, that Saturday morning does not mark the beginning of the holiday celebrations in town.

The holiday festivities will actually kick off at the Grand Illumination on Friday, Dec 1 at the Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., families can stop to see the holiday lights display along the park’s ring road as well as on the boats staying in the marina. Throughout the night, children can make crafts, listen to carolers and even meet and take a picture with Santa Claus himself. Not to be outdone, Santa will be arriving on a police boat into the marina for his grand entrance.

This year’s holiday weekend is sponsored by Farm Fresh, Physical Therapy Works, QVC, and Suffolk Parks and Recreation.

For more information about the events, call Suffolk Parks and Recreation at 923-2360.

lauren.wicks@suffolknewsherald.com