By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
The holiday spirit will be in the air this weekend, with the downtown Corsicana lighting party Friday, followed by the Festival of Lights Christmas parade and lighting of Community Park on Saturday.
The downtown “open house” and lighting ceremony will take place starting at 5 p.m. Friday with holiday caroling by Corsicana High School choir students while the Tortillaria Matehuala serves up free street tacos and tamales at the corner of Beaton and Collin streets in downtown.
“Santa will be there to greet the kids, and we’re encouraging businesses to stay open at least until 6 p.m. and offer any special discounts,” said Main Street Director Steve Dieterichs.
At 6 p.m. will be a count-down to the lighting, and then a fireworks display, weather permitting, Dieterichs said.
On Saturday, line-up for the parade will start at 5 p.m. starting from the corner of Third Avenue and North 13th Street, according to Dennis Thornberg, chief organizer of the Festival of Lights.
“After the parade, around 7:30 p.m., we’ll have the lighting ceremony at Oak Lawn. It will be a short program, then fireworks by Prince Fireworks, and the street will be open until 8:30 or 9 p.m. for pedestrians,” Thornberg said.
Community National Bank will be the parade Grand Marshal this year, in keeping with the decision several years ago to honor local businesses with the position.
The route of the parade will be the same as in the past, going from the corner of Third and North 13th Street east to Main Street, then south on Main to Sixth Avenue, then east on Sixth to Beaton and north on Beaton to Mall Drive. The route is about one and a quarter miles for those intending to walk the route.
People who ride in the floats are encouraged to throw candy or prizes into the crowd, not into the street, because that makes little children want to run out into the street and into the path of cars and floats. Also, those who want their float judged need to prominently display the name of the organization on the right-hand side of the float (passenger side) where the judges can see it, Thornberg said.
The categories for best floats this year are Retail, Religious, Education (including day-cares), Non-Profits, Spirit of the Season, and Most Creative.
There is no charge to enter a float in the parade, but sponsors are asked to sign up so the organizers know what to expect at the line-up. To enter, please call Thornberg at (903) 872-2133.
Immediately following the parade will be the official lighting ceremony at Community Park. Oak Lawn will be blocked off from traffic to allow people to walk through the park and see the displays.
“We’ve got it rearranged, and we got a couple of new things,” Thornberg said.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com