What could be sweeter than the bright lights and music of an Athens Christmas parade?
How about a parade with a Candy Land theme?
The 2021 Christmas parade is organized by the City of Athens in partnership with the Athens Chamber of Commerce.
The aggregation moves out at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, taking its usual route from Trinity Valley Community College, up South Palestine Street, around the square and back again.
Forty-five entries had signed up for the parade as of Monday, according to Katie Birk, Athens Tourism and Cultural Resources Coordinator.
“We are excited about an evening of whimsy, fun and imagination,” Birk said. “Don’t forget a candy bag. There will be a lot of sweet, take home treats.”
Sponsors are Athens Screen Printing, Atmos Energy, Kevin and Jeaneane Lilly’s McDonalds, and Republic Services.
“Candy Land” is a theme that reminds of that childhood game that has given kids visions of sugarplums for decades. The Chamber of Commerce and the City of Athens asked the public what they thought the theme should be, and narrowed the choice to three, before picking the winner.
“We love the theme Candy Land, chosen by the community, and can't wait to see everyone's spin on their delectable expressions,” said Kristen Willingham, Chamber of Commerce Director.
Entries will be judged on creativity, incorporation of the theme, and overall appearance. Prizes will be awarded to first place ($1,000), second place ($700), and third place ($300). All prize money is donated by sponsors.
The parade is just part of the holiday fun on Saturday. The Yuletide Market is open at the Texan from noon to 5 p.m. Kids can visit Santa in his house on the north side of the courthouse lawn. He’ll be there for pictures from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The tree lighting is at 5 p.m., right next to Santa’s place.