JUNCTION CITY — For the first time anyone can remember, Junction City will have a Christmas parade, to be held at 7 p.m. Friday.
The parade is something organizers had hoped for individually in previous years but never gathered to accomplish until a determined group of women decided to make it happen.
Pattie Wilson, Danielle Stevens, Vicki Bowling and Rita Douglas are the main organizers behind the event, which will boast more than 20 entries from various school, church and community organizations throughout Boyle County. The number is expected to grow.
Entrants will include a Bluegrass band, the Girl Scouts and children from Junction City Elementary School, among other. The parade will even have two grand marshals, longtime Junction City residents Jack and Joyce Duncan.
“They always try to help out the city, so I think it’s time we recognize them,” Wilson said.
For Stevens, a great deal of the motivation for the event comes from making Junction City more family-friendly. She and her husband moved to the city with the purpose of it being a place they could raise their family.
Unfortunately, in order to enjoy a Christmas parade, she and other Junction City residents would have to drive to Danville or other neighboring communities, which Stevens said seemed odd, when one could be held in her own city.
“I wanted to start the tradition with my own kids in my own town,” Stevens said. Now, this will be something she and others in the community can enjoy together, right at home.
Organizers also hope the parade will become an annual event and grow every year.
“Maybe after this year, more people will get involved,” Wilson said.
After the parade, there will be a community tree-lighting ceremony by the Community Center. The tree will be planted this week and will remain at the location. Community members will be invited to decorate the tree.
“Anyone who wants can bring an ornament,” Douglas said, noting that ornaments in memory of someone or with a theme are acceptable.
Students from Junction City Elementary will sing at the tree lighting. Afterward, there will be free hot chocolate and homemade cookies offered in the Community Center, and kids can meet Santa.
“We welcome anybody that wants to participate,” Douglas said, adding that people with floats are welcome to join in as well as observers.
The night also kicks off the Junction City toy drive, which gathers unwrapped toys, books and puzzles for children in low-income families in the community.
Anyone interested in helping with that cause will have about a week to gather the items, as the open house/toy drive will take place at Stith Family Center from 2-5 p.m. Dec. 9.
During the open house, there will be light refreshments, another chance to meet Santa, and the opportunity to fellowship with community members.
SO YOU KNOW
- The Junction City Christmas parade will begin lining up at the city park at 6:30 p.m. Friday. It will travel down Oakland, across Shelby Street and on Russell Street before ending back at the park. For more information about entering a float in the parade, call (859) 583-2935.
- Toys for the toy drive need to be unwrapped when brought to the open house. To learn more about the toy drive or to get involved with organizing other similar activities for Junction City, contact (859) 319-1561.