This year’s Springfield Christmas Parade, slated for Nov. 21, will become the city’s first-ever to be held as an evening event — all while encouraging downtown businesses to light up the area with colors of the season, Chamber of Commerce officials said.
Plus, attendees will see the Robertson County Christmas tree light up that night — rather than in December — when Volunteer of the Year, Laura Crawford of Lola Bean Coffee, flips on the switch as Santa makes his way by the courthouse during the parade.
Officials are hoping the new format will entice residents to get into a festive mood earlier as well as encourage holiday
shopping — locally and sooner — thereby helping out businesses who have suffered pandemic-related losses.
“This is the perfect year to change everything up,” said Jordan Osborne, Robertson County Chamber president.
Instead of the traditional Christmas on the Square activities during the day, the festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with the parade, sponsored by Christmas Done Bright.
It will kick off at its normal route, beginning at 10th Avenue, moving its way down Main Street, all the way to Springfield Middle School.
Officials say they want residents to enjoy the evening parade amidst a downtown that’s sparkling in lights and holiday decor.
“This is a long-standing tradition to have the Christmas parade the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and that’s not changing this year — only the time and feel of the parade,” said Osborne. “This is an opportunity to extend the joy of the holiday season; we all need a little cheer in 2020.”
To participate in the parade, which serves as a fundraiser for the Kiwanis for Kids program, individuals and groups will need to register with the Chamber and bring one unwrapped toy per float or car to go toward the cause.
“I think it’s exciting, and I'm looking forward to it,” City Manager Gina Holt said. “It may become a new tradition in Springfield. I hope all the downtown businesses participate, and we have a lot of lights.”
Additionally, Robertson County residents will also be encouraged to decorate and light up their homes earlier, according to Carly Rager, Chamber event director.
Those that do, she said, can send their address to the Chamber, and officials will plot their home on a map to be posted on its Facebook page.
That way, individuals and families can enjoy a pandemic-friendly event by touring the county to see the holiday decor and lights throughout.
To register for the parade, go to the events calendar at www.robertsonchamber.org. Or for more information, contact the chamber at 615-384-3800.