By GWEN SISSON and BRIAN HAWKINS
There will be magic in the air as one of Starkville’s favorite holiday events gets underway Saturday night.
“A Magical Christmas” is the theme for this year’s Christmas parade, sponsored by the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. The parade — featuring 71 units — will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, following the lighting of the Community Christmas tree, in downtown Starkville.
LaTasha Hill, GSDP special events coordinator, said organizers are very excited about this time of the year.
“Needless to say that our community Christmas Parade will be the icing on the cake,” Hill said. “We are expecting several of our favorites such as our marching bands, antique cars, and ending with our grand finally, Santa! And with a theme like ‘It’s A Magical Christmas,’ we are expecting a wide range of creativity and the sky is the limit!”
The official parade lineup period is set between 5 and 6 p.m.
Hill said vehicles and floats must be in place by 5:30 p.m. Participants who will ride on the floats or ride in the vehicles must in place by 6 p.m. She said all walking units will need to be place by 6 p.m.
Hill said participants need to remember that the line up will take place on Russell Street.
Units should enter from Spring
Street to Russell Street and there will be volunteers to assist.
The parade route will proceed from Russell Street to Lampkin Street, move east on Lampkin to Montgomery Street and then turn north on Montgomery Street to Main Street. The parade then turns west onto University Drive and continues west onto Main Street.
The route turns south on Washington Street before turning east onto Lampkin Street and moving back to its origin point.
The judges reviewing stand and broadcast booth for the event will be stationed at the Cadence Bank plaza on University Drive in front of the Community Christmas Tree.
Starkville police will close the parade lineup area on Russell Street beginning at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
The intersections at Montgomery Street and University Drive and Jackson Street at Main Street will be closed by police at 5 p.m. for the lighting ceremony for the Community Christmas Tree. All other intersections along the parade route will be closed at 6 p.m.
For more information about this year’s event, call the GSDP at 323-3322. The parade lineup will be as follows:
• SHS JROTC Department.
• Grand Marshal.
• Starkville High School Band.
• AFROTC Detachment 425.
• Miss MSU 2011Jessica Terrill.
• Miss Hospitality Paige Watson.
• Starkville’s Junior Miss.
• Gulf States Manufacturing.
• American Legion Post No. 240.
• OCH Regional Medical Center.
• Clark Beverage Group Inc.
• Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department.
• Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors, Justice Court Judges.
• Starkville Fire Department.
• Mayor’s Youth Council.
• Designed With Love Child Care Haven.
• The Starkville Dispatch.
• Starkville High School 2010 Homecoming Queen.
• SHS Key Club.
• Armstrong Middle School Cheerleaders.
• Armstrong Middle School Physical Education Classes.
• Armstrong Middle School Band.
• Cub Scout Pack 14.
• Cub Scout Pack 27.
• Cub Scout Pack 11.
• East Oktibbeha High School.
• East Oktibbeha County Elementary School.
• Ability Works, Inc.
• West Oktibbeha County Elementary School.
• Girl Scout Troop 320.
• Girl Scouts Heart of the South-Oktibbeha County Service Unit.
• Starkville T.E.A. Party.
• Christmas Carols Singing Float featuring members of MSU Women’s Chorale, Delta Delta Delta Sorority and Alpha Kappa Alpha.
• Gibson Body Shop.
• Tri-City Roller Dolls.
• Golden Triangle Cells- Miss Irish Rose.
• The O’Nan Project for Change, Inc.
• World Neighbors Association.
• Starkville Academy Miss Volition.
• Starkville Academy Homecoming Queen.
• Starkville Academy Varsity Cheerleaders.
• Starkville Academy Junior Varisty Cheerleaders.
• Starkville Academy Varsity Dance Team.
• Starkville Academy 7th grade Cheerleaders.
• Starkville Academy Band.
• Starkville Martial Arts Academy.
• Oktibbeha County 4-H Clubs.
• Starkville Raiders Football.
• Young Champions Cheerleading.
• Starkville Saints.
• Urban Radio Broadcasting.
• Zack Ray.
• Longview United Methodist Church.
• Adaton United Methodist Church.
• Pine Grove M.B. Church.
• Little Angels Child Care.
• First Baptist Church of Longview Youth Department.
• Happy Start Learning Center.
• KMG Creations Dance and Fitness Children Dance Company.
• OSERVS (Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Services).
• Starkville In Motion.
• Council of Community Organizations of Oktibbeha County.
• Rolling Hills Development Center.
• Oktibbeha County Humane Society.
• Lakeside Place.
• Davis Bail Bond Co.
• CFR Enterprise LLC/ Money CO USA.
• Santa Claus on the Rotary Club float.
Other events scheduled
Here’s a brief look at other “A Magical Christmas” events scheduled this weekend:
• Organizers said the Community Christmas Market and Tree Lighting will be a fun way to celebrate the holidays. The market portion of the event is brand new and will be sponsored by the Starkville Community Market.
Organizers expect home-grown products and local art as part of this special event.
The Community Christmas Market will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, ending with the annual lighting of the Community Christmas Tree.
• The Holiday Home Tour and Tea is set from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Sherwood Forest subdivision of Starkville. The event is sponsored by the Starkville Civic League and GSDP.
Tickets are on sale today at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership office, the Book Mart and Cafe, Montgomery Jewelry and from any Starkville Civic Club member.
Tickets will also be on sale Sunday at the Starkville Public Library, where refreshments will be served for those attending the Tour of Homes event.