It has become somewhat of a tradition to start Christmas before Thanksgiving with the annual Owensboro-Daviess County Christmas Parade. This year’s parade is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17 downtown and will be the first Christmas parade in the state.
The uniquely created floats are always the highlight of the show, with groups keeping their themes a closely guarded secret, making preparations months in advance.
This year’s parade theme is ‘Our Christmas Wish.’ Participants were asked to build floats based around their own interpretation of the theme.
Jared Haynes, Cubmaster for his son’s Cub Scout Pack 120, said the group starts the design and planning process for the float a month before the parade.
“We give the scouts the theme for the float and allow them to draw up their visions for what the float should look like,” he said. “Using their ideas, we come up with a final design and start planning for the build.”
Although the building process takes about two weeks of countless hours to complete, Haynes said the troop submits a float every year for the love of competition.
“We like to raise the bar for ourselves every year,” he said. “It’s also a learning experience for the scouts — they learn teamwork, simple construction techniques and they get to see their hard work pay off when the float is complete.”
Last year, that hard work help them take home a first place award. Haynes said they are hoping for a repeat win in a few weeks.
Haynes also said it’s very rewarding to see the faces in the crowd when they realize that the boys completely built everything on their float.
“The highlight for the scouts is actually getting to ride the float in the parade,” he said.
Catherine Byrne, who is a board member for the Owensboro-Daviess Christmas Parade Association said, as of Oct. 31, they had 72 floats and other entries for the parade.
She said they will finish with approximately 110 total entries. Floats will be judged and prizes awarded to the top three in each category.
- Christmas theme originality
- Interpretation of the parade theme
- Quality of workmanship and construction
- Utilization of construction materials
- Visual effect and color portrayal
- Electric light enhancement
- Animation and mechanical display
- Mode of operation
- Overall visual effect
Parade organizers will continue to accept entries through Monday. Vendor applications will also be accepted through then.
Byrne said the floats usually keep ties with the parade theme, and, with a minimum requirement of 1,000 lights, they are a spectacle for everyone to enjoy.
“With today’s hectic lifestyle, it’s fun to take a couple of hours and spend with family and loved ones enjoying the sights and sounds of the Christmas season,” Byrne said. “From the marching bands to the beautiful floats, the Shriner clowns, our Grand Marshal, Miss Kentucky, Katie Bouchard, and of course, Santa himself — there is something for everyone and many memories to be made.”
For more information about the Owensboro Christmas Parade visit christmasparade.net.
For parade rules and regulations click here.