Veterans sought, location altered for Christmas Festival


The Italy Park Board is searching for local veterans to serve as grand marshals for the Italy Christmas Parade and Festival scheduled Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Italy.

The group approved this recommendation from Mayor Frank Jackson at its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

The board also relocated some activities.

The art & craft vendors and Santa will now be located in the Wayne Boze building, 161 W. Main (across the street from the Chinese restaurant). These groups were in the former McConnell Furniture building last year.

Jackson said the city council must approve the Italy Economic Development Corporation recommendation to purchase the building as a community center at its upcoming November meeting. Once approved, he said the above listed events will be moved to the new location.

Food vendors will be located throughout the downtown area.

Frank Boyer, a 19-year Italy resident, said he did not like the fact that the park board was not allowing the duplication of food items. He said there were three barbecue vendors last year and said all sold out. He asked who made the ultimate decision as to how the vendors were chosen.

Janet Campbell, food vendor chair, said they are not limiting vendors. She said food vendor items are based on a first come with payment, first approved. She said they are leaning toward local student and church groups. She explained that there can be more than one barbecue vendor. For example, one group can sell chopped beef sandwiches and another can serve sausage on a stick.

A pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Lions Club, will start the day at the First Baptist Church. The downtown events will kick-off with a parade followed by entertainment throughout the day on the vacant lot across the street from city hall. The Christmas tree, usually located at the end of Main Street, will be set up on that location as well.

Members of the park board are Bruce Utley, chair, Stephanie Wilson, Jason Escamilla, James Hobbs, Dennis Perkins Jr., Carolee Farnsworth, Campbell, Jenna Chambers and Michael Chambers.

A workshop is set for Thursday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m.