On the afternoon of Dec. 3, people will line the streets of Thomson to get a glimpse of the annual Christmas parade extravaganza. It is part of the newly consolidated Festival off Main.
Over the past few years, the events surrounding the festival have been spread over three days, but this year they will all take place that Saturday.
"We've done it this year in an effort to have a one day event, number one because everybody's worn out if we stretch it out over three days," said parade co-organizer Camille Ruddick. "Also, I think everybody, then, will be a part of all of it."
The Thomson Christmas parade, full of decorated floats, classic cars, and horses will begin at 3 p.m.
For Mrs. Ruddick, who - along with her husband Peter - has organized the parade for four years now, the event is enjoyable because of the excitement and enthusiasm of the entries.
"Everybody just tries real hard to be in the Christmas spirit and decorate," she said.
One safety issue Mrs. Ruddick wanted to highlight for this year's event is for spectators to stay out of the street while the parade is coming through. Many times children will attempt to get candy thrown from floats.
"To run out to get candy can be dangerous," she said. "We've been very fortunate in that nobody has been hurt, but it could easily happen chasing after a piece of candy."
This year, the parade will run in the opposite direction from its normal route. It will start at Thomson Middle School and end at Thomson Elementary School.
Entrants are asked to turn off Lumpkin Street onto Bethany Drive to enter the lineup, and they should be there at 1 p.m. North Lee at Main Street will be closed for parade participants. The disbanding location will be on Fluker Street.
Applications to be included in the parade should be turned in at the Chamber of Commerce office in the Depot by Nov. 28 along with the $10 entry fee and the signed liability disclaimer. Entries must be approved by the parade committee before the event.
Those riding horses in the parade need to get in touch with Mrs. Ruddick about where to park their vehicles and line up with the parade. Call the chamber office at 597-1000 for more information.