For Hometown News
Stuart Christmas Parade has announced that plans are underway for the 53rd annual parade. This year's parade commemorates the 100th anniversary of the City of Stuart with the theme "Christmas Past, Present, and Future: Celebrating 100 Years on the St. Lucie."
The parade, which is held every year on the first Friday in December, will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.
The deadline for businesses and nonprofit groups to submit an application to participate is Friday, Oct. 11.
The eagerly anticipated announcement of the theme kicks off a three month period of preparation during which local schools, churches, civic clubs and businesses design and build the over 50 spectacular lighted floats that make up the parade along with marching bands, twirling groups and of course, Santa.
"We get inquiries as early as January and February from groups who want to start on their floats," said Teresa Lamar-Sarno, event co-chairwoman. "The commitment the community shows to this event is incredibly exciting. Martin County truly has the Christmas spirit."
This year floats will be judged in six categories including a special division honoring Stuart's Centennial anniversary (Float length refers to the float only excluding the towing vehicle):
o The Centennial Award - The float that best represents Stuart's 100 years as a city.
o Judge's Choice - The judges' favorite float.
o "Christmas Past, Present & Future" (30'-40') - The float that best exemplifies this year's theme in the 30'-40' size division.
o Illuminations/Musical (30'-40') - The most amazing display of lights and/or music in the 30'-40' size division.
o "Christmas Past, Present & Future" (Under 30') - The float that best exemplifies this year's theme in the under 30' size division.
o Illuminations/Musical (Under 30') - The most amazing display of lights and/or music in the under 30' size division.
Although only floats are judged, the parade is open to a wide variety of participants, including decorated motor vehicles, marching groups including bands, and animals. Interested participants must complete an application and submit it with the appropriate entry fee by Oct. 11.
The parade will not accept any late entries. Applications are available now by going to www.StuartMainStreet.org and clicking on "Stuart Christmas Parade" under "Sponsored Events" on the menu at the top of the home page. The entry fee is $75 for businesses and $50 for nonprofit groups. The application package includes detailed guidelines and rules for parade participation. Additional questions should be emailed to StuartChristmasParade@yahoo.com.
The 53-year old Stuart Christmas Parade is a treasured Martin County tradition. The parade is completely funded through sponsorships and entry fees. Sponsorship opportunities range from $150 to $1,500 and offer a variety of benefits for private and corporate contributors. Complete sponsorship information and forms are available at www.StuartMainStreet.org, by emailing StuartChristmasParade@yahoo.com, or by calling (772) 600-1258. Volunteers are needed and can call (772) 286-2848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of the parade.