Rockmart Christmas Parade 2016

New Prospect Baptist Church not only had a float, but participants walking by with messages about the true meaning of the Christmas season. 

Kevin Myrick

Winter has some of the most impactful pros and cons. Sure no one likes getting a heat bill or having to defrost car windows every morning, but alongside the woes of cold weather are the holidays and the numerous pleasures that come with them.

One of those treats is Rockmart’s annual holiday parade which has recently been scheduled for Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the city’s downtown area. If rain threatens to ruin the parade, the event will be held on Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. instead.

This year’s parade theme is “The Sounds of Christmas.” The title is lifted from the Rockmart Community Chorus who will be performing the annual Christmas concert the weekend of the parade, Dec. 2-3.

The theme calls for extravagant displays of light, decorations, and illuminations.

Already fully mapped out, the sure-to-be dazzling parade is scheduled to run through a large portion of the city. Beginning at Hilburn Field parking lot, 815 College St., the parade will continue straight onto College St. before taking a left onto N. Piedmont Avenue where the parade will make a right onto E. Elm St. A left turn will take the parade onto S. Marble St. before floats and large trucks will reach Maple St. and promptly be directed to turn left onto Slate St. Marching bands will continue on S. Marble St. before disbanding in the “Eby-Brown” parking lot.

All other participants will be directed to turn right on Maple St. before ending on Water St.

Citizens struggling to decide on a viewing spot are encouraged to watch the parade from the city’s historic downtown area. Alongside a great view of the action, shops will be open late for citizen’s dining and shopping pleasures, and those camped out in the downtown area will have front row seats to the lighting of the Rockmart Christmas tree.

After the parade, Santa Claus will stop at the History Museum, 133 S. Marble St., where he will meet with kids of all ages.

Those interested in being a part of the holiday festivities aren’t too late because the city is accepting participant applications up to Nov. 27.

To be a part of this annual Rockmart Christmas Parade tradition, a valid email address is required to apply, and all participants must apply online at www.rockmart-ga.gov.

Traditional paper applications can be obtained from the City of Rockmart Water Department.

Those who get accepted into the parade have an opportunity to win big with a first-place prize of $500, a runner-up prize of $300, and a third-place prize of $150.

The award will be given out in 2 different categories including a church category and a school/club/nonprofit category.

With both the honor of the parade and a cash prize on the line, parade rules were to be expected, and Rockmart has a slew of regulations they intend to enforce on entries.

Some of the major rules include adhering to a holiday or designated parade theme, signing a Hold Harmless agreement, not handing out anything, abstaining from reckless driving, and arriving at the staging area by 5:30 p.m.

For a full list of rules please visit http://www.rockmart-ga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1164.

Commercial businesses are unable to win any money with floats, but with no entry fee, an illuminated float may serve as perfect advertising for a product.

The parade is free and all citizens are urged to attend. Bundle up, stay warm, and enjoy what the city and citizens have brought together.