Paris Chamber Hosts Annual Christmas is Caring Parade
By Abbey Gerveler
To kick off the holiday season, the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Christmas is Caring parade Thursday night, December 6, in downtown Paris. Mary Lou Allison emceed the event themed the “Spirit of Christmas.”
With 23 float and non-float entries, the parade began at 5:30 pm and ran until approximately 6:00 pm. Many businesses and organizations decorated their entries with Christmas lights, some singing or playing Christmas tunes for onlookers to enjoy, or tossing candy to children as they passed along the North Main Street. The Paris Coyote Marching Band marched in the Parade to Christmas tunes. Floats and non-floats competed for a first-place prize of $50.00 and a second-place prize of $25.00. In the float division, Santa Fe Christian Church took first place while Just As I Am Cowboy Church took second. The City of Paris, a repeat winner for the non-float division, won first place as Ray and Chylene Daub’s One Horse Open Sleigh entry won second in the division.
In addition to the parade competition, contests for the best gingerbread house, best storefront, and best porch/yard in the city of Paris were organized given the holiday event. Beverly Bartels won first place, and Max Billing won second in the Gingerbread House Contest. Olen and Christina Golden won first place for the Yard/Porch competition, and Coyote Cuts took first for the Business Window contest. Kids in kindergarten through second grade also guessed the number lights on the “Magic Tree” at Monroe Manor. In total, there were 5700 lights on the tree. Shiloh Bross guessed the closest number, followed by Emma Secrease and Autumn Bross.
At the Paris Senior center, a soup supper was held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A silent auction also took place during the supper, with items donated by local businesses. One-half of the proceeds benefited the Christmas is Caring campaign, which helps Monroe County children and families that are in need during the holiday season. The chamber benefited equally from the auction. At the new Chamber location, a free hot chocolate, coffee and cookie bar was also provided to the public by the Senior Center and Chamber.
“I just like the whole feel of the event. It’s that Christmas feel,” said Jo Reynolds, president of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce. “You see the kids, and the people are all so friendly, and they are all excited. It brings people out and gets them together.”
After the parade, Children and families crowded on the courthouse lawn to meet Santa. Paris’s Volunteer Fire Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff David Hoffman helped escort Santa, Mrs. Claus, and The Christmas Elf during the parade and finally to the Santa House. “The Santa house last year was one of the most uniting things that have happened in this community in a long time,” said Reynolds. She said many pulled together to build the house last year and credited Dillon Levings and Sara Bates for leading the project.
Jo Reynolds said, "$773.51 went to the Chamber and $773.52 went to the Christmas is Caring Campaign."
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