Parade participants sought

Published 11:01 pm Thursday, October 13, 2011

Santa Claus will make an appearance again during the 2011 Holiday Parade in downtown Suffolk. This year, however, the jolly old elf will do so on a lighted float, as the parade has been scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Dec. 10.

With the Christmas season just around the corner, the city of Suffolk has put out a call for participants in the 2011 Holiday Parade.

The parade will take place Dec. 10 at 7 p.m., returning to the evening hours to accommodate this year’s theme, “Light Up the Night with Holiday Spirit.”

Participants will include motorized and equestrian units, marching bands and choreographed walkers, floats — and, of course, Santa Claus. This year, floats and other displays will be adorned with dazzling lights to complement the theme.

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Organizers are encouraging participants to be creative when deciding how to decorate their displays, looking for creative, festive ways to “Light Up the Night” as they make their way down Suffolk’s historic streets.

The Suffolk Division of Tourism will host a Parade Participant Workshop on Oct. 26 to help potential participants with the creative process and to give them ideas on how to light up their displays.

Each unit participating in the parade will be judged, and prizes, including cash, will be awarded. Categories and prizes are as follows: Best Marching Unit (non-band), $200; Best Animal Unit (including equestrian), $200; Best Float, $200; Best Specialty Unit, $200; Best Motorized Unit, $200; Best School-Affiliated Band, $300 for first place, with prizes for second and third, as well; Best Non-School-Affiliated Band, $300 for first place, with prizes for second and third, as well; Best in Show, $200; and Judges’ Award of Excellence, $150.

The panel of judges will include seven individuals who are active in the Suffolk community. Winning units will be announced before the parade begins.

For more information, and an application, visit