The Italy Park Board will sponsor its Third Annual Christmas Festival and Parade Saturday, Dec. 4 in downtown Italy. The board nailed down specifics at a called meeting Tuesday evening.
Outlining the day’s events, Ronda Cockerham, assistant city secretary, said the Lion’s Club will host a pancake breakfast at First Baptist Church beginning at 7 a.m. Vendors may sell their wares between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the high school.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for the parade and photographs with children. Photographers will be on hand to take photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus following the parade until 1 p.m.
The event continues on Sunday evening, as the Italy Ministerial Alliance will assist in hosting a service and Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
A live nativity will begin at 5 p.m., weather permitting, at the Corner Stone building across from Italy Family Medicine. A service will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Cornerstone followed by a tree lighting ceremony outside.
Cockerham said the banner across Main Street should be up this week. Plans are to have the Christmas tree in place at the east end of Main Street by Nov. 19.
The festival is to be between City Hall and the east end of town with the children’s activity area, non-cooking vendors and Santa Claus located in the former McConnell’s Furniture building. Cooking vendors will be located on the sidewalk in the same vicinity.
Cockerham said vendor cost is $30.
Board members decided all vendors raising money will be charged this $30 fee. That fee will be waived only for those that might be passing out pamphlets for informational purposes
A stage and bleachers will be located between city hall and the former furniture store.
Bruce Utley, park board chair, said they have received several donations but need much more. Thus far, they have received donations from Bobbie’s Salon, a month’s tanning or hair cut; Hyles Custom Homes, $20; Dollar General, $10 gift card and decorative wreaths; Hobbs Feed, gift certificate; and Italy Auto Supply, $20 gift certificate. Other donations have come from Italy Cleaners, gift certificate; Italy Family Medicine, $150; Kong Wok, $5 off purchase of meal; Italy Post Office, miscellaneous cards and gift boxes; and Mark Stiles, gift certificate. Additionally, donations have come from Varner Fina, oil change up to $40; Woods Paint and Body/IYAA, two bicycles; DCI, $150; Brown and Hofmeister, $250; Mt. Zion Church, $50; and Coming of Christ, bicycle.
Board members made an appeal for volunteers to help at various times throughout the event.
The park board will meet again on Tuesday, Nov. 16, and Tuesday, Nov. 30, to finalize event preparations. They urge those interested in volunteering to be at these meetings.