Park Board seeks donations at festival

The Italy Park Board stepped up for those in need this holiday season and are asking those attending the Italy Christmas Festival to bring non-perishable food items to help the Italy Ministerial Alliance food pantry or a toy for an underprivileged child.

Ronda Cockerham, assistant city administrator, made the suggestion at a called park board meeting Tuesday evening.

The city will have containers available for festivalgoers to drop off the food items or unwrapped toys.

The board scheduled the Christmas Festival for Saturday, Dec. 4.

Vendors will set up in the former McConnell Building recently purchased by the City of Italy.

Mayor Frank Jackson said the city will take possession of the building on Nov. 18.

A parade will begin at 10 a.m. starting at the high school and going through the downtown area. Brian Birdwell, newly elected State Senator, will be grand marshal.

Bruce Utley, board chair, explained that parade entrants need to line up at the high school between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Cockerham said entrants will receive a number and those who do not arrive by 9:30 a.m. will be moved to the back of the parade.

Currently, Cockerham said there are 16 entrants in the parade.

Jackson said the Justin Guthrie Band has agreed to perform from 1 to 2 p.m. on a stage that will be set up between city hall and the festival building. He said about six other groups are scheduled to entertain.

Cockerham said there are still times available for those interested in entertainment.

Stephanie Wilson, board member, said she currently has nine vendors lined up for the festival but expects many more.

Utley said they have received donations from the following: Bobbie Salon, Brown & Hofmeister, Janet Campbell, Coming of Christ Church, DCI Sanitation, Dollar General, Hyles Custom Homes, Hobbs Feed and Italy Auto Supply. Other donors include Italy Cleaners, Italy Family Medicine, Italy Pharmacy, King Wok, Mama’s Place, Monolithic Constructors, Mount Zion Church, Rep Jim Pitts, Italy Post Office (Terry Adams), Mark Stiles, Uptown Café, Bruce and Gloria Utley, Varner Fina, Vintage Bank and Woods Paint and Body.

The next meeting of the park board is set for Tuesday, Nov. 30. Board members urge anyone interested in volunteering for the event to contact Cockerham at city hall or attend the meeting.