It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, maybe not just yet. However, we just got one step closer as the Chamber of Commerce has announced the theme for this year’s Christmas parade as “Christmas in Candyland.”

The 2013 El Dorado Christmas Parade presented by Entegra – Union Power Partners, will begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5.

This year’s parade will be organized by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, Christmas Parade Chair Kelli Harrison and Co-Chair Carlee Hendricks.

“I’m thrilled to be chairing this year’s Christmas parade,” Harrison said. “You can always count on El Dorado’s parade to kick off the holiday season with colorful floats, fun costumes and, of course, the Christmas spirit. I look forward to seeing our community come together to continue this wonderful El Dorado tradition.”

For the second year in a row, the Chamber reached out to the community for the parade theme. Dozens of suggestions came in, and the Chamber put five themes to a vote. The winning theme, “Christmas in Candyland,” was submitted via Facebook by Alberto Amaro.

“More than 300 community members voted for this theme, which won by an overwhelming majority,” said Chamber Director of Member Services Kay Smith. “We are excited to see the various ways the parade entrants will make this theme come to life.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in each division. The deadline for entering the parade will be 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. Entry forms are available online at goeldorado.com/parade and at the Chamber office, 111 West Main St.

Entry fees are $50 for a large float (large truck and trailer) and $40 for a small float (truck and trailer). Decorated cars/trucks and beauty queens will require a $35 entry fee, horses are $20 each and motorcycle entries are $25 each. All entries must be decorated in order to participate in the parade.
The Customized Show Cars category is returning this year. These are vehicles that are custom and will not be required to have holiday decorations. Entries are limited to the first 15 cars that enter, and the entry fee will be $45. There will be a separate category and cash award for the Best Customized Show Car.

There are two exciting additions to the parade this year. Union County schools will select one fifth-grade boy and one fifth-grade girl from each school to open the parade and serve as the grand marshals. They will get to ride on a 1940’s-era fire truck.

In addition, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is organizing the FCA Run to the Manger Christmas Fun Run along the parade route immediately preceding the parade. Contact Danny Rivers with Rivers Investment Management at (870) 814-4064 for more information on the 1.5-mile run.

Those interested in volunteering or being a part of this year’s parade should contact Kay Smith at the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce by calling (870) 863-6113 or emailing kay@goeldorado.com.

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