Santa Claus is scheduled to make his first appearance of the year in Homewood on Thursday, Dec. 1. He’ll be riding on a firetruck in the Homewood Christmas Parade and helping with the tree lighting ceremony in the plaza at City Hall.
The 18th Annual Homewood Christmas Parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the library and culminates in the plaza at City Hall.
“The response to the nighttime parade last year was overwhelming,” said Rusty Holley of the Homewood Park and Recreation department. “Based on the response, we decided to have the parade at night this year too.”
The event is fun for the entire family, but it’s really special for the kids.
“You should have seen the look of pure joy on the faces of the kids watching the parade last year,” said Tricia Ford, director of the Homewood Chamber of Commerce. “It was magical.”
Homewood band director Ron Pence said the Patriot band has taken part in the Christmas Parade every year, and they are excited to be participating again this year. The band joins Santa in the plaza at City Hall to play Christmas music for the tree lighting ceremony.
“A few years ago it snowed which made the parade even more beautiful,” said Pence.
One of the officers in the parade last year said it looked like everyone in Homewood turned out.
After the tree lighting ceremony, Santa will be available for pictures with the children of Homewood. This activity is sponsored by Let’s Get Organized.
The parade route begins at the Homewood Library and travels east on Oxmoor Road, turning left onto 18th Street South. Then it goes under the Christmas Star, turns right onto 29th Avenue, then left onto 19th Street, past City Hall, turning left onto 28th Avenue South. Then it goes through the intersection of 18th Street South and ends after passing through the intersection.
“We encourage participation in the parade from all school groups, churches, clubs, neighborhoods, civic groups, businesses and individuals,” said Holley. “We love to having new and unique entries in this annual event.”
Holley said there is no entry fee for the parade. “Last year there were more than 60 groups and individual entries,” he said.
Awards will be given for “Best Float”, “Best of Show”, “Best Use of Lights”, “Most Lights”, and “Best Performance.” Along with the parade awards the, “Quality of Life Group Award” will be presented.
Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer said the event is a tradition in the city. “The parade is the essence of Homewood, and all the folks that make the city great are involved.”