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By Carmen Ensinger
The White Hall Lions Club are proud to announce the first, of what they hope to be many more to come, Christmas parades on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m. The parade is being held in conjunction with Christmas in the Park, which will be at Whiteside Park, which is also sponsored by the Lions Club.
“This is our first year for the parade and so far we have around 15 entries lined up for it and are hoping for many more before parade day,” Lions Club President Danny Powell said. “The parade will line up at White Hall Elementary beginning at 5 p.m. and kickoff at 5:30 p.m. with Santa leading the parade.”
The parade will be the culmination of a full day of events that will begin at noon at Whiteside Park and end at 6 p.m.
“Santa will arrive at the park on the firetruck at noon to take pictures with the kids,” Powell said. “The pictures are free and he will also hand out treat bags.”
There will be lots of vendors on hand selling a variety of goods for folks who haven’t already gotten their Christmas shopping done.
“We have already gotten over 25 vendors lined up for that day,” Powell said. “There will be craft vendors selling homemade items, vendors selling specialty items such as jewelry, etcetera. There will also be three food vendors on hand with a variety of different food items to choose from.”
Perhaps the most exciting new addition this year is the free carriage rides.
“Farmer’s State Bank is sponsoring free carriage rides for everyone,” Powell said. “From 3 to 6 p.m., there will be a horse and carriage here taking people around town absolutely free of charge thanks to Farmer’s State Bank. There will be a designated route around town. I know a lot of people have never had the opportunity to ride in a carriage so here is your opportunity.”
There will also be a live nativity scene throughout the day thanks to the local churches and Peyton Tucker will be singing Christmas tunes on the stage.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without presents so throughout the day, there will be over 25 free giveaways, including a free month’s utility bill given away by the City of White Hall. Two Dogs Bar and Grill in Roodhouse will be giving away free hot chocolate all day in the park.
The Lions Club will have a booth set up where they will be selling raffle tickets for a trip for two to Cancun. They will also be selling tickets for a dueling piano concert at Martin Lanes in February. Both are fundraisers for the Lions Club.
These funds will go towards the Lions next project – lighting up Whiteside Park.
“We have been working hard to start lighting up Whiteside Park and making it a drive around light display,” Powell said. “We started small this year with a few lights in the trees and around the light poles, but next year we hope to have a lot more lights and want to put it to music so you can tune into it on your radio. Then we want to add more lights year after year.”
With that in mind, the Lions Club is looking for light donations. If anyone is interested in giving away their old Christmas lights or even purchasing new Christmas lights and donating them to the Lions Club, contact Danny Powell or any member of the Lions Club.