Chamber aims for feeling of nostalgia with changes

Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor
The parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m., with the main change being that the route will go from the corner of Homer and North Main streets to the square.
Washington County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Tara Kritzer said this is the route the parade used to take years ago. She said no one on the current chamber board is sure why the route was ever changed, but due to a request from the community, the route will go back to North Main. Kritzer said parade participants will line up in the Salem Middle School parking lot. The parade will then go down Main Street, around the square and disperse on East Market Street. Santa will make a full lap around the square before being dropped off at his house behind Fox Purlee’s business.
Kritzer said since they are going back to the way things used to be, this year’s theme for the parade is “Old Fashioned Christmas.”
“Old fashioned can be whatever it means to you,” she said.
There will be four trophies awarded this year: Best Overall Float, Best Business Float, Best Civic Float and Best Walking entry.
Kritzer said the chamber is working on the lighting on the courthouse lawn. There will be no lights on the courthouse this year. The city will be handling lighting around the square.
Three organizations have joined forces to bring a different feel to the community for the Christmas parade weekend: the chamber, the tourism board and the Main Street Board.
Kevin Stewart, owner of Cheddar Depot, said he had an idea to ask homeowners on Main Street to decorate their homes for the parade, calling it “Light Up Main Street.” Several businesses have volunteered to decorate homes for anyone who would like a sponsor to take care of their house decorations. They are encouraging residents to leave the homes decorated from Dec. 2 to January 2.
Stewart said he mailed out approximately 100 letters to Main Street homeowners and many of have agreed to participate. Salem and West Washington school corporations have groups who are going to decorate a home in school colors. 
“People are loving the plans,” said Stewart, adding that groups of carolers will be strolling the streets singing. He said the more, the merrier. 
“It’s going to feel very traditional.”
Prior to the start of the parade, reindeer will be available for photos at Cheddar Depot from 4-6 p.m. 

Anyone who would like more information or to sponsor a house or to have your house sponsored, can call him at 812.620.2710.


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