By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
Santa Claus makes his first public arrival in Richmond for the season in the Christmas Light Parade 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, on Richmond Square.
Santa made a secret appearance at a Richmond Downtown District planning meeting last week to finalize his trip to Richmond. The jolly old elf told committee members he would ride in a sleigh with Mrs. Claus and some of his elves and they’ll flank the parade. Then he’ll visit with children after the parade until 9 p.m. at Hometown Pizza’s banquet room, adjacent to the restaurant. Photos with Santa will be available for $10 by Photos by Donn.
Festive parade plans and the expectation of seeing many Ray County kids made Santa a little giddy as he blurted out a “ho, ho ho” to the group.
Santa will get some first-class treatment from area folks, too. Ray and Lucille Gill, $3,500 benefactors toward new Christmas lights for Richmond Square buildings, will lead off the parade along with Richmond Police Chief Chad Burnine. The couple will do the honors of throwing the switch to light the square. In all, 52 businesses and individuals donated toward the lights, raising $8,694. Richmond High School Marching Spartans band – a very merry group – follows with performances of Christmas songs.
Nearly a dozen individuals and groups have signed on for lighted floats, Richmond Chamber Director Renea Williams said. First, second and third-place winners will be awarded certificates. (For those who want to get in on the fun, a parade application is on page 9). Parade participants line up in the city hall parking lot around 5:30 p.m. The parade will move down College Street and loop around the courthouse square. Before the parade at 5:55 p.m., Mayor Wright will light the mayor’s tree in front of the city hall complex.