by Chris Harris
Christmas in Kentucky means lots of things to lots of people. Shopping in a festively-trimmed mall. Snow covering rolling hills in beautiful horse country. The big UK-UofL game. Friends, family, and fond memories.
That’s why it’s the perfect theme for this year’s downtown Somerset Christmas Parade.
The Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is once against hosting the annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 7.
As has been the custom in recent years, the beloved seasonal event will be followed by the ceremonial lighting of the town Christmas tree.
On Monday, Chamber Executive-Director Bobby Clue announced the “Christmas in Kentucky” theme for the 2013 parade, noting that it was the result of a census by a committee of Somerset-based organizations.
“‘Christmas in Kentucky’ seemed to be the crowd favorite,” said Clue. “I think (the idea) can be different for anybody. When you think about Christmas, people have a different sense or understanding of what it means to them.”
Last year, there were about 100 entries in the parade, noted Clue, and he expects to have “comparable” participation this time as well.
“When you have all the different organizations — dance groups, bands, ROTC, car clubs — it can involve well over 1,000 people,” said Clue.
“The Christmas Parade is one of the most important annual events that we have in our community,” he added. “It’s a timeless tradition that brings in the holiday season for people in our community and gets people in holiday spirit.”
The Christmas Parade will begin at 5 p.m., and will be followed immediately by the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Fountain Square.
Clue noted that that the Chamber is working closely with the Downtown Somerset Development Corporation — “See, people do get along in town,” he quipped — to pull off the bundle of downtown holiday festivities.
The tree makes its triumphant return to the square this year after spending last year on the judicial center pla4za to make way for the renovation of its old home. Clue said that a special top piece is currently being made that will fit onto the new fountain and allow the tree to be placed there, standing even taller than in the past.
Awards will be handed out for the top floats, and local businesses will be providing refreshments like coffee, hot chocolate and cider.
Local personalities John Alexander and Jane Correll will be back to give their parade commentary on the radio, this time broadcasting from a balcony on First Baptist Church — “It’ll be a nice, high-up venue to really see all the floats coming in,” said Clue.
And, of course, none other than Santa Claus himself is scheduled to make an appearance, adding true star power to the event.
“Every great community has a great Christmas parade,” said Clue, “and I think we fall in line with that. I think we have one of region’s premier Christmas parades.”
The day of activity is sponsored by the Somerset-Pulaski Co. Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Somerset Development Corporation, Somerset-Pulaski Co. Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pulaski Co. Public Library, Pulaski County Fiscal Court and the City of Somerset, who are working together to bring Pulaski County citizens our best Christmas Extravaganza ever.
For more information on how to participate in this year’s Christmas Parade, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 606.679.7323 or email@example.com.
“To make this event successful, we need the community's help,” said Clue. “We encourage everyone to get involved and help the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade be the biggest and best ever.”