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City takes over annual Oxford Christmas Parade; applications available online

For more than 30 years, the Oxford Lion’s Club has organized the annual Christmas Parade that is a yearly tradition for many local families.

Like most things around Oxford, the parade has grown; however, the Lion’s Club has not, which led the club to hand over the parade to the city of Oxford due to the increase in the size of the parade, and the decrease in membership of the Oxford Lions Club.

“The Oxford Lions Club has had a decrease in participation and active membership due to the increase in average age of the members,” said Lion’s Club member and former parade chairman Drew Windham. “This caused the Oxford Lions Club to reevaluate our ability to coordinate such a large event. We are extremely grateful that the city of Oxford has taken over the parade this year. The employees of the city have been amazing in their outpouring enthusiasm and effort to help keep this parade a fixture of the holiday season for all of the people of Oxford.”

To make the transition as smooth as possible, Windham, who has chaired the parade for the last few years, is helping the city with organizing this year’s parade — but also because it’s something he loves to do.

“When the small children see Santa traveling down the street in his sleigh with all of his reindeer and he waves at them, says ‘HO HO HO’ and throws a big handful of candy, the look on their faces is so heartwarming and makes this all worth it. The Oxford Christmas Parade has a very ‘Norman Rockwell Christmas’ vibe to me. It really gives Oxford that small town feel, like Mayberry from the ‘Andy Griffith Show.’”

This year’s parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 from the Mid-Town Shopping Center.

Applications to be in the parade are being accepted up until noon on Dec. 4. While there is no fee to be a part of the parade, registration is required to be considered for awards.

The line-up  for parade participants will start at 5:30 p.m., at Mid-Town Shopping Center on North Lamar Boulevard. The parade will travel south on North Lamar to the Square, halfway around and continue south on South Lamar Boulevard, and then west on University Avenue and end at the Gertrude Ford Performing Arts Center.

Floats will be judged as the parade leaves Mid-Town Shopping Center and prized will be awarded to first, second and third place as well as Best Unique Vehicle and Best Live Performance Group.

Winners will be announced in the Oxford EAGLE the following day and trophies can be picked up at the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

Windham said people should mindful of the parking and traffic near the Mid-Town Shopping Center while floats and other participants are lining up.

Parking in the shopping center is limited and Windham recommends parents escorting young children to their respective floats should arrive early or carpool with others.

Visit www.oxfordms.com to complete the application or call 662-816-3739 for more information.