The Christmas season means Christmas parades, and residents across Wilson County are hard at work on the floats hitting the streets over the next few weekends.
Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown are each hosting parades this year, and the public is invited to join the festivities. Applications are also available this week for last-minute float entries.
Christmas Parade: ‘Hometown Heroes’ — Dec. 12
Mt. Juliet is also honoring frontline workers with this year’s “Hometown Heroes” parade at 11 a.m.
Grand Marshal Zach Atwood will lead floats along a route from the Mt. Juliet League off Lebanon Road to East Division Street off North Mt. Juliet Road.
Fifteen minutes before the parade, attendees will also observe a moment of silence for Rowan Ace Frensley, a 7-year-old boy who died in an accident at last year’s event.
Those interested in joining the parade can find an application on the city’s website and will need to pay a $10 entry fee. Staging will take place from 7:30-9:30 a.m. the day of the event, followed by judging at 10 a.m.
The Mt. Juliet Parks Department is accepting entries through Dec. 11, and participants will need to attend one of two meetings at the Mt. Juliet Community Center (Dec. 10 and 11 at 6:30 p.m.) for their float to be fully approved.
Masks and social distancing along the parade route are strongly encouraged for both attendees and participants.
Lebanon Christmas Parade: ‘A Blue Christmas’
Lebanon will celebrate frontline workers’ efforts amid COVID-19 during its Christmas parade Sunday at 2 p.m., hosted in partnership with the Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce.
The parade will leave from the former Lebanon High School location on Harding Drive at 2 p.m. on Sunday, proceeding from Park Avenue to East Main Street around the square. After leaving the square onto West Main Street, the parade will end at Liberty State Bank and DT McCall & Sons.
This year’s theme, “A Blue Christmas,” was named for a countywide initiative that saw blue ribbons presented to local frontline workers. Those workers are collectively serving as this year’s grand marshals.
“These blue ribbons have let everyone know that Lebanon is safe and we’re happy to be a part of it,” Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce President Melanie Minter said. “Truly, everyone in our community has been essential in one way or another because we’ve all come together throughout 2020.”
Float entries are still being accepted at the Chamber through 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Costs are $30 per entry, and cash prizes are available in five divisions for overall appearance, creativity and adherence to theme. Applications are available on the Chamber’s website.
“We’re asking for social distancing along the parade route,” Minter said. “The ultimate goal is to bring joy to children during these tough times.”
Watertown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
Watertown is kicking off a citywide Christmas celebration with a parade at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Float entrants will gather at Round Lick Baptist Church for judging an hour before the parade starts. The route is set to proceed down Main Street and end at Optix Watertown.
Those still interested in participating can submit entries through noon on Friday for $25 using an application available on the city’s website. Non-profits, individuals, churches and youth groups can join in for free.
After the parade, the community will gather for the city’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the square at 5 p.m.
The Watertown High School Troubadours will also be performing historical characters around the square, while the Depot Junction Café will host its Christmas Extravaganza featuring local vendors.