By STEVEN NALLEY
The Sturgis Christmas Parade will take place 2 p.m. Saturday, starting at the entrance of Diane Jackson Memorial Park and ending at Louisville Road.
Shirley Arney, co-chair of the parade’s committee, said 40 different entities will have representatives in the parade, including churches, schools and other organizations. The theme for the parade, she said, is “Old Town Christmas,” and five traditional floats will appear.
“We have a church in Longview that will have a float, the Sturgis Baptist Church will have a float and West Oktibbeha County Elementary School will have a float,” Arney said.
The other two floats, she said, come from a praise team in Ackerman and the Dixie Queen Pageant in Sturgis, the latter of which will feature its winners on the float.
There will be a competition with first- and second-place prizes for the best floats, Arney said, but there will also be prizes for the top two competitors in other categories. These categories include participants in cars, participants on horseback, and walking participants.
“We have motorcycles, go-karts, wagons, antique cars and cheerleaders,” Arney said.
Some of the antique cars will come from the Choctaw Cruisers, Arney said, and several motorcyclists will also join the parade, possibly in more than one group.
“They will probably be throughout the parade, like in two different places,” Arney said. “We’re working on lining up (Thursday night). As they come and register, we will give them a number, and they will be in their place then.”
Finally, she said, the parade will feature Sturgis’ own local go-kart racing team, from a racing track completed at the start of the fall.
Arney said none of the participants she is aware of overlap with those from the Starkville Christmas Parade. She said the parade will be similar to those the city has held over the past four consecutive years it has been active.
“We used to have one every year, and it sort of died down, and nobody took it up to put it on again for several years,” Arney said. “Then I was asked if I would help with the committee, and we formed a Christmas parade committee. We’ve been working on it every year since.”
Arney said she had one primary reason for helping to bring the parade back.
“The children enjoy it, and it’s all for the children,” Arney said. “It’s just a small town, and we try to do the best we can do.”
Arney said streets will be closed for the parade at about 1:30 p.m. or 1:45 p.m. She expects the parade to end at about 3 p.m., she said, so the streets should reopen no later than 3:30 p.m.