Rome Christmas Parade

FILE — For the first time, Mrs. Claus joined Santa for the ride up Broad Street during last year’s Rome Christmas parade.

Halloween has come and gone, but two more holidays still await. While Thanksgiving comes first, November is Christmas Parade preparation month for the city of Rome.

"The Rome Christmas Parade has been a tradition for over 60 years," said Janet Byington, a member of the parade committee. "I've been doing it for 35 years, ever since I was pregnant with my daughter."

Typically, around 25,000 people attend and 3,000 participate, with over 100 floats travelling up and down Glenn Milner Boulevard.

"The best part is seeing the children's faces. Jerry Rucker always says, 'Remember, it's for the children,'" Byington said.

The theme for the parade this year is "Let it be Christmas Everywhere!" Byington said she's hoping for it to be an international theme, with floats that showcase how Christmas is celebrated throughout the world.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is when the Grand Marshal Breakfast takes place. That's when the Grand Marshal of the parade is announced.

The honoree is always someone who serves and gives back to the community of Rome. Residents submit nominations and the parade committee makes the selection. This year the Grand Marshal Breakfast will take place on Nov. 26 at 8 a.m.

The Rome Christmas Parade will be on Dec. 3 with participants getting into position at 5:30 p.m. and the step-off commencing at 6 p.m.

The float submission deadline is Nov 15 with a $100 entry fee. After that date, all entries will be charged an additional $50 late fee. Applications and parade rules can be found at

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