Parade to stay downtown

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The annual Christmas parade will stay downtown this year, city leaders announced Tuesday.

According to a press release detailing all the city’s holiday events, the Christmas parade will begin at the corner of Washington and Main streets downtown, and end at West Finney Avenue. The theme for the parade, scheduled for Dec. 5 at 10 a.m., is “Sounds of the Holidays.”

In a July 8 letter to City Council members, City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn put forward the idea of moving the parade to the Harbour View Boulevard area. She based the idea on a number of considerations:

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The two annual citywide parades, Peanut Fest and Christmas, both take place downtown, with only about nine weeks between the two.

Harbour View’s growing population and its location near other communities could result in a bigger crowd.

Harbour View Boulevard would allow for an evening parade without extensive police or traffic control costs.

Areas for parade unit staging and spectator parking are widely available in the area.

Both areas drew support for hosting the parade, but downtown apparently won out.

Other city-sponsored holiday events will occur throughout the holiday season. On Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., the annual tree lighting celebration will be held at Market Park, adjacent to the Seaboard Station Railroad Museum on North Main Street.

On Nov. 21, the East Suffolk Recreation Center will host a breakfast with Santa for children ages 10 and under.

On Dec. 12, Northern Shores Recreation Center will sponsor lunch with Santa for children 10 and under. The cost of admission is a donation of a new, unwrapped toy.

Also on Dec. 12, Bennett’s Creek Park will host an old-fashioned holiday movie with vendors and holiday crafts from 6 to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.