By Lora Scripps
Limestone County residents better watch out — Santa Claus will be rolling through town Thursday as part of the 10th annual Reliance Bank Christmas parade, according to an insider elf.
The parade, themed “A Storybook Christmas,” starts at 6 p.m. at Athens High School on U.S. 31. The route will wind west along Hobbs Street, circle The Square and go south on Jefferson Street before ending at Hometown Grocery.
Although the parade was postponed last week due to inclement weather, organizers are still expecting the parade to be the largest yet with Reliance Bank as host.
There are approximately 170 entries and about 40 floats taking part in the event, which includes Santa as the main attraction. “The response has been wonderful,” Donna Wright of Reliance Bank said, adding a few more participants have decided to take part in the event. “It’s just awesome. I hope the weather cooperates. Cold is good, just no rain.”
An estimated 8,000 spectators are expected to attend.
This year’s grand marshal is Dr. Tom Sisk, the second-year superintendent of Limestone County Schools.
The lineup also includes honorary grand marshals Claudia Henson, a third-grader at Julian Newman Elementary School and Avery Powers, a fourth-grader at Creekside Elementary. The honorary grand marshals submitted the winning theme for this year’s parade.
Junior grand marshals are Preston Haney and Alicia Jones, both of Tanner Elementary School, and Omar Figueroa and Diamond Townsend, both of Athens Intermediate School.
Other entries include 10 Miss Merry Christmases, marching bands from area schools, civic clubs, churches, businesses and youth organizations.
The top four floats as well as the best-decorated horse and car will receive cash awards.
A $1,000 grand prize is up for grabs for float participants. The floats will be judged based on originality, workmanship, theme portrayal and artistry.
To find out more about the 10th annual Reliance Bank Christmas Parade, call 256-232-1944.