Decorating Downtown Tree

The Downtown Washington Inc. design committee and other volunteers helped decorate a 30-foot tree placed at Main and Elm streets in Downtown Washington Monday, Nov. 12. Andy Unerstall, left, and Tony Gokenbach added lights to the tree Monday morning.

The tree will be lit after the Holiday Parade of Lights Friday, Nov. 23. Santa Claus will join Mayor Sandy Lucy for the lighting.      Missourian Photo.

It’s not too late to sign up for the Holiday Parade of Lights, traditionally held the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“We have about 23 entries and will accept 50,” said Danielle Grotewiel, project coordinator for Downtown Washington Inc., which sponsors the parade.

“All entries must be decoratively lighted,” she said. The deadline to enter is Friday.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Main and Cedar streets. It will travel south on Cedar Street; east on Fifth Street; north on Elm Street; east on Second Street; north on Jefferson Street; and west on Main Street, ending near the Farmers’ Market. This is the same route as in past years.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will get off at the market to greet children and participate in the Mayor’s Tree Lighting, which will occur immediately after the parade. This is the third year for the tree lighting.

Santa Claus will join Mayor Sandy Lucy in turning on the tree lights.

The tree was set up Monday at the corner of the Main and Elm parking lot, in the same spot as the fountain. The tree has been decorated, but the lights will not go until after the parade.

Grotewiel said local elementary students will sing four Christmas carols just prior to the lighting. All children are invited to participate and should meet on the front steps at St. Francis Borgia Church.

Christmas murals decorated by local schools and churches will be on display at the market and unoccupied storefronts in downtown will be decorated as well.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will again serve as grand marshals. They will ride in a 1912 Maxwell, provided by the Washington Historical Society. The antique car will be on a trailer.

There will be two judging categories for the parade: nonprofit and business/individual.

The top winners in the nonprofit division will receive a trophy and the first-place entry will receive $100.

Trophies will be presented to the top three winners in the business/individual division. Entries can choose not to be judged.

The corporate sponsor of the parade this year is the Bank of Franklin County.

For more information, people may call the downtown office, 636-239-1743.

Schools, churches, Scouts, businesses, service organizations and other groups are encouraged to participate. Floats, decorated vehicles and walking groups are planned.

No Santas are allowed on any of the entries. The cost to enter is $10.