Christmas parade, festival set Dec. 5 in Italy

After a two-hour discussion between Italy Park Board members, the group voted to host a Christmas parade and festival in downtown Italy on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Vendors can register starting at 7 a.m. and may stay until 2 p.m. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. The Lions Club will host a pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m.

Clover Stiles, who was co-chair for last year’s Christmas Festival, said, “This is something the community could use. The bottom line is this is a lot of work and will cost money.”

She continued, “Last year, we wanted to start a tradition. One year is not a tradition.”

Stiles and Ronda Cockerham, assistant city administrator, said they had both received calls from vendors wanting to know if the festival was set this year.

Cockerham said, “This has to start with a positive attitude if this is what the park board wants to do.”

Mayor Frank Jackson said the parade last year was the best parade and festival ever held in Italy. He continued, “We can’t do things like we did last year because of finances but Italy needs something positive.”

The park board will hold a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m. for all volunteers who will assist with the event. The meeting is set in the Italy Council Chambers, 105 W. Main.

Vendors interested in learning more may contact Stiles at 972-483-6260 or 817-673-7026 or Cockerham at city hall at 972-483-7329, extension 103.

The board tentatively planned a tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 6. They plan to contact the Italy Ministerial Alliance to discuss a joint evening service in the downtown area.

Board members present at the meeting included Stephanie Wilson, Bruce Utley, Susan Harris, Stiles and Lisa Mott. Members not present were Janet Campbell and Jason Escamilla.