Here's a quick look at Christmas parade set for this weekend in LaFayette, Ringgold, Rossville and Fort Oglethorpe. (Chickamauga will not hold its Christmas parade this weekend; it will be Friday evening, Dec. 12.)
LaFayette parade: Friday at 6 p.m.
It will be an “Old-Fashioned Christmas” parade in LaFayette on Friday, Dec. 5.
Citizens are encouraged to come for the floats, candy and to see Santa Claus ride into to town on LaFayette’s own 1926 fire truck
This year’s parade, which begins at 6 p.m., will be televised on UCTV and hosted by mayor Andy Arnold and Rachael Oesch Willeford.
The holiday floats will be competing for first, second and third place in the city’s best-decorated float contest.
The parade route will begin at 512 South Main Street at Ace Hardware and will travel north on Main Street, turn left on Margaret Street and end at the Sixth-Grade Academy. For more information on the event, contact the LaFayette Parks and Recreation Department at 706-639-1590.
Immediately after the parade, free photos with Santa will be available at the gazebo in Joe Stock Park and sponsored by the LaFayette Downtown Development Authority.
Photos from the DDA event will be emailed out from information collected on contact sheets at the time of the picture.
Meanwhile, the city will continue with hosting a large-scale model train and village inside Chattooga Academy (Gordon Hall).
The model railroad train and village are made possible thanks to volunteer Ronald Underwood and will be available to view that evening from 6-10 p.m., as well as on evenings from 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 31.
The Reindeer Run will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 a.m. and run until the last participant. To participate in the Reindeer Run 5K Fun Run and 1K walk, there is a fee of $25 per individual or $100 per group of five who are pre-registered. The LaFayette Optimist Club sponsors the event.
All proceeds will go to the Shop With A Cop program, which provides presents to young needy children.
The Marsh House candlelight tours will be open Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21 from 6-8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children.
The Amazing Christmas light show is on tap each day at 6 p.m. through New Year’s Day, where 750,000 lights will shine to various Christmas songs and can be tuned to FM 89.5. Admission is free.
For more information, go online to facebook/cityoflafayettega or at cityoflafayettega.org.
Ringgold parade: Friday at 6 p.m.
The Ringgold Down Home Christmas Parade will be held in downtown Ringgold on Friday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m.
The parade will begin on Nashville Street and proceed through downtown to the city’s historic Depot.
Santa Claus will marshal the parade to the Depot, where he will be available for pictures for the remainder of the festival.
After 7 p.m. the Depot will host a variety of children's choir and dance performances.
“The lineup for vehicles in the parade will be along both lanes of Robin Road beginning at 4 p.m. and it usually extends all the way to LaFayette Street,” said Ronal Graham, who heads the Down Home Christmas festival committee.
“We have a new mobile stage to help announce the parade,” he said, “so that is something people will be really impressed to see.”
The city of Ringgold is decorating Nashville Street and the Ringgold Depot with festive holiday decorations to bring the spirit of the season into downtown.
“With the major improvement projects going on in downtown it should be a great way to show off all the progress we're making,” said Joseph Brellenthin, director of the Downtown Development Authority, which helps sponsor the parade.
“The sidewalks will be wider and easier for pedestrians to navigate, and we've already added parking lots near the downtown area so it will make it much easier for everyone coming to town, even Santa,” said Brellenthin.
Businesses or organizations interested in signing up for the parade can call 423-825-9975 or visit the website at graham-dental.com/events. Applications to take part in the parade should be returned to 896 LaFayette St. in Ringgold or faxed to Graham's office at 706-935-5355.
Rossville parade: Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Rather than parading through the dark and cold of a weeknight, this year Santa has a full day of activities, including a daytime parade, planned for Rossville on Saturday, Dec. 6.
“It (the parade) has always been on the first Thursday of the month, but this should allow more community participation,” said Carthell Rogers, head of Rossville Recreation.
This year’s festivities will center around the John Ross House and are set to begin at 10 a.m., he said.
The parade will form at the Rossville softball fields, at 200 Ellis Road, about 11 a.m. and beginning at 11:30 a.m. will proceed down McFarland Avenue toward downtown, the John Ross House and the duck pond.
There will be Christmas music of all sorts, including bands, individuals, groups, gospel, carolers and more than 35 vendors, Rogers said.
Unique to this event is that businesses, civic groups and individuals are asked to bring decorated Christmas trees that will be put on display throughout the day. These trees will be donated to needy families after the festival closes, he said.
After the parade and a full day of activities, the event will draw to a close with the lighting of a Christmas tree about 5:30 p.m. (dusk).
Anyone interested in participating in the parade or being a vendor should contact Rogers by call 423-488-1999.
Fort Oglethorpe parade: Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Fort Oglethorpe Christmas parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. The theme is “Under the Christmas Tree.”
To go along with the theme, participants are asked to bring an unwrapped toy the day of the parade that will be donated to the Catoosa County Stocking Full of Love.
Prizes for best floats will be sponsored by Capital Bank. First, second and third place will all receive plaques. Floats will be judged on performance, appearance and theme. To be eligible for prizes the float must have at least a 2-foot-by-3-foot banner (poster board size or bigger) on the passenger side of vehicle.
For more information on parade entry forms, call the Christmas parade line at 706-858-4639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chickamauga parade: Friday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m.
In the city of Chickamauga there will be a Christmas parade this year but not the usual Christmas in the Streets.
The parade begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12, and will go from Crescent and Gordon streets through downtown and end somewhere around Crittendon Ave. Gordon Lee Memorial High School's band will march in the parade.