Williamsburg is getting serious about its upcoming Christmas parade and your organization could collect some serious cash for participating.
Mayor Roddy Harrison announced during Monday’s monthly city council meeting that there will be a $150 first place cash prize for best float in each of three categories, church, business and schools.
Second place finishers will receive a $100 prize and third place finishers will receive a $50 cash prize.
Harrison said he is hoping this will generate some friendly competition among schools and businesses and result in more participation.
“Firestone and Williamsburg Plastics have challenged each other. So they are each going to have a float. We will take all other challenges out there,” Harrison said.
In addition, the city will offer $200 to each choir and band that wants to participate and have music during the parade.
“Hopefully if we pay them a little bit, we will get a bit more music,” he added.
Organizers said that the use of sirens would also be discouraged during the parade so that people can hear the music better.
Harrison added that he would welcome participation in the parade by any groups at the University of the Cumberlands, too.
The last day to enter the parade is Dec. 1.
“You need to go to tourism or come by city hall and let us know you want to be in the parade by Dec. 1,” Harrison said.
Another big change for this year’s parade, which won’t be popular with some, is that participants won’t be allowed to throw candy from floats during the parade.
Harrison said this is due to safety because there have been numerous instances across the country where children have run out to pick up candy and gotten hit by vehicles.
“There are people that have really gotten hurt,” he noted adding that the city’s insurance company will no longer allow it. “I hate that.”
Those wanting to hand out candy will have to have people walking beside their floats tossing the candy.
“We are really going to be vigilant about that,” Harrison added. “The days of all the kids hanging on top of the fire trucks and all that kind of stuff are over. It is just the time we live in. It is just a sue world.”
The annual Williamsburg Christmas bizarre will take earlier that day from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center.
“These are craft sales. There is some really nice stuff. It is getting huge. You can get some really good late shopping done,” Harrison noted.
“That is early for you,” retorted Councilwoman Mary Ann Stanfill to a round of laughter from the room.
There is a $10 vendor fee for the first table and a $5 fee for each additional table.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Williamsburg Police Department Shop with a Cop program.
The annual Williamsburg Feels Like Home Christmas Decorating Contest will once again take place in Williamsburg.
Judging will take place from Dec. 4 – 8.
In the residential division, there will be three categories, including: traditional, modern traditional and “bling bling.”
In addition, there will be a best-decorated door award given out in the residential division and there will be an award given out for the best decorated neighborhood.
In the business division, there will be two categories, traditional and modern traditional.
In addition, Harrison also discussed the upcoming Turkey Trot 5-K, which will take place on Thanksgiving Day.
Registration will start at 8 a.m. and the race will begin at 9 a.m.
“It is moving a little slow now with applications,” Harrison said about the race adding that he anticipates registration picking up as the race date gets closer.
Proceeds go towards the Williamsburg Police Department Shop with a Cop program.
For more information about the upcoming holiday events, contact the Williamsburg Tourism Center at 549-0530 or Gina Harrison at the mayor’s office at 549-6033.