More positive growing pains for the Lynchburg Christmas parade organizers this year. The first Lynchburg Christmas Parade was held in 1959, hosted and named then by the Lynchburg Jaycees. In 2003, The Fire Foundation (formerly the Lynchburg Fire & EMS Foundation) became the host of the annual event in an agreement with the Lynchburg Jaycees and the City of Lynchburg.
In 2013, the Fire Foundation and the City of Lynchburg officially granted the Retail Merchants Association & Foundation the opportunity to serve as the host of the event. Last year you may recall the parade was cancelled due to a severe ice storm. When restructuring the applications for the parade for 2014, the committee felt that there should be a clause stating that any and all groups or organizations would be welcomed to submit an application for entry and the word “Christmas” shouldn’t be a deterrent. “The title ‘Christmas Parade’ is part of tradition and part of the event’s history” said Event Chairman Laurie Gulluscio. “Our board and association have immense diversity, and we felt that the verbiage would be more inclusive for this parade that we are now hosts of.” The Parade Committee agreed and we feel confident with the name The Lynchburg Christmas & Holiday Parade. “No one is suggesting we drop the word Christmas; just add the word HOLIDAY to make it more welcoming and less exclusive.” Said Executive Director of the Retail Merchants Association, Debbie Montgomery
This year’s parade falls on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, and not only will there be a festive parade but a touch of patriotic flavor. The first ¼ of the parade will be a patriotic theme as we remember this particular day in history. With the help of many local military groups and organizations we have some great things in store for the community. The parade lines up on Commerce Street, goes up Main Street and Church Street and disbands down by Riverside Park. See the parade website for maps and parade day schedules and events.
The parade organizers are still looking for sponsors for this year’s events. Three-fourths of participants in the parade are carry-overs from last year, thus there is no entry fee for them out of courtesy for their investment last year. However, funds are still needed for helium, banners, advertising, floats and miscellaneous parade expenses. Anyone wanting to donate a company bill board or sponsor the parade can email Laurie Gulluscio (Laurie@LynchburgRMA.com) or call the RMA office at (434) 528-1732. Applications for the waiting list are also being taken at the RMA office, 2412 Langhorne Road. You may also email or call for an application. (434) 528-1732 Visit: www.LynchburgChristmasparade.com / www.LynchburgRMA.com.