While travel, shopping and visits with Santa are looking a little different this year, Hartsville’s annual Christmas Parade will take place as scheduled this weekend.

“The Christmas Parade is an annual tradition that the community looks forward to every year,” said Chamber Director Knudsen. “It was something we just couldn’t take away.”

According to Racheal Petty, who serves as the parade coordinator each year, entries are looking to match last year’s parade, which was one of the largest in memory. Once again the Shriners — always a crowd favorite — will be bringing more than 70 parade entries.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12. This year’s honorary Grand Marshals will be Trousdale County’s first responders. The Chamber felt they deserved recognition for their respective service to Hartsville and Trousdale County.

Everyone is taking time to honor their first responders this year,” Knudsen said, “but we need to remember they are here for us 24/7 year in and year out.”

Again this year, the parade will be prejudged so if you’d like to be entered for one of the 15 trophies, you need to be in line by 9:30 a.m. Participants are asked to place a piece of paper with their parade number in the driver’s window to facilitate judging.

In an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, a few changes have been implemented for this year’s parade. Participants will not be throwing candy and spectators are encouraged to watch from their vehicles wherever possible or wear masks and practice social distancing.

Parade entries are reminded that their entry fee is a new unwrapped children’s toy for Trousdale County’s Christmas For Kids. Participants are strongly encouraged to drop their toys off at the County Administration Building, Citizens Bank or Wilson Bank & Trust prior to the parade.

Additionally, the Christmas tree lighting and singing that traditionally takes place on Friday evening at the historic courthouse will not be held this year.

The tree was delivered Tuesday via Paul & Natalie Knudsen’s horse-drawn wagon and will be on display at Wilson Bank & Trust this year. The Knudsens also took the Christmas tree to Trousdale County Elementary School on Tuesday morning for the children to see.

Local businesses are also celebrating this weekend with Open House events at Creekbank Boutique (202 McMurry Blvd.) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Anita’s Hair on Broadway.

Creekbank Boutique’s Facebook page said there would be refreshments and doorbuster deals, while Anita’s event will begin at 9 a.m. and run until after the parade. Vendors on hand are scheduled to include Brei Pinzur’s notecards, T&L Honey, Mary Kay and Paparazzi.

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