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By MATT CRANE
Greater Starkville Development Partnership officials announced Monday the 2012 Christmas Parade was postponed to 6 p.m. today due to rainy weather.
Jennifer Gregory, GSDP chief operating officer and vice president of tourism development, said the organization decided on a rain date for the parade in July after weather issues during last yearâ€™s festivities.
â€śUnfortunately, what looked to be like inclement weather for last night, we felt like we had no choice but to postpone to the rain date,â€ť she said. â€śWe consulted with meteorologists at Mississippi State University, and they advised us that rain was definitely in the forecast for Monday. The forecast for Tuesday looks relatively clear.â€ť
Gregory said all parade elements will stay the same, and postponing in light of weather concerns was necessary to achieve the perfect atmosphere for the annual holiday event.
â€śThe lineup time and route are still the same, and the parade will begin at 6 p.m.,â€ť she said. â€śHaving a festive and fun parade atmosphere is importance for us as spectators as well as for our participants.â€ť
Gregory said roads will begin closing at 4 p.m. today, with participants lining up at 5 p.m.
â€śWeâ€™ll have the same route as last year,â€ť she said. â€śThe parade will start on Russell Street then head down Lampkin, turning up on Montgomery before heading west on Main Street and ending at First United Methodist Church.â€ť
Gregory said WOBV Channel 5 will record the parade to be played throughout the holiday season with the new addition of a live online stream.
â€śWe love working with the TV station and we are so appreciative of their efforts in documenting the parade,â€ť she said. â€śThe live stream will be great so people that are elderly, disabled or canâ€™t come out will have the opportunity to participate.â€ť
Gregory said she looks forward to a wonderful crowd for the parade and is excited to continue this Starkville tradition.
â€śThe Christmas parade has been going on for many years in Starkville,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s a favorite tradition of many in the community and weâ€™re getting to celebrate that community and the holiday season.â€ť
For more information, call 662-323-3322 or visit http://www.visit.starkville.org.