Covid didn’t force the cancelation of last year’s Scott County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, but it did scale it back a great deal.
The 2020 parade featured only seven floats. Some of those who traditionally participated were ill, as the coronavirus outbreak raged throughout the community. Others chose not to participate as a precaution. And the Chamber of Commerce purposely kept the parade smaller than usual as a precaution of its own.
It appears that none of that will be the case in 2021.
The Chamber of Commerce’s 65th annual Christmas parade is slated to step off from HBD Industries on Industrial Lane in Oneida at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, following its traditional route north along Alberta Street to Claude Terry Drive near Walmart before disbanding in the parking lot of Oneida Elementary School.
As of Monday morning, there had been 18 actual floats entered into the parade. A typical year features around a dozen or so floats.
“These are 18 actual, decorated floats — not just trailers with people on them,” said Stacey Swann, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
The theme of this year’s parade is Christmas At The Movies, and Swann said that all of the floats that have been entered thus far will be themed.
“Even the churches are getting into the theme,” she said. “One of them will have a Charlie Brown Christmas float, which is pretty cool.”
As of Monday there had been 48 entries into the parade.
“They’re coming in like crazy this morning,” Swann said. “I feel like it’s going to be a good-sized parade.”
The entry deadline is Wednesday afternoon. Entries can be made by visiting the Scott County Visitor Center on U.S. Hwy. 27 in Huntsville, or by calling (423) 663-6900.
In a typical year, the Christmas parade features around 100 pieces — including fire engines, pageant winners and others. Swann said this year might exceed that.
“Everyone is excited and hopefully the weather is going to be nice,” she said.
Should the weather interfere, the parade will be bumped to Sunday at 3 p.m. As of Monday, the National Weather Service was forecasting a 20% chance of rain Saturday afternoon, with temperatures near 60°.