The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Christmas parade brings Whoville to Starkville

Christmas lights — check. Christmas music on 93.3 — check. Christmas sweaters from the Palmer Home — check. All the warm festive drinks from Nine-twentynine and Strangebrew — check. Classes coming to an end (or might have already ended in our minds) — check. 

November 2013 seems to shape up for a wonderful holiday season in Starkville, and the Greater Starkville Development Partnership heads up the annual Christmas parade to ensure Christmas cheer is spread to the people of Starkville. 

Jennifer Prather, GSDP special events and projects coordinator, said the long-running parade brings a variety of businesses, community groups and organizations together for one large celebration. 

“The parade is a celebration of Starkville,” she said.

Each year, groups in Starkville can sign up to build floats to show in the parade. To add a competitive twist and encourage the groups to bring their best efforts, a panel of judges, set up in front of First United Methodist Church, will determine the awards for “Best Use of Theme,” “Best Use of Lights” and “Best Overall.”

Prather organizes the parade and said the parade takes a lot of preparation.

“The signup deadlines are in October,” she said. “We set that so that we can get the lineup ready in advance and notify the groups.” 

Each year, the GSDP picks a different theme for the parade and keeps a record of themes in order to avoid repeating themes. Prather said the themes provide a direction for those designing floats and helps spark design ideas.

“We want to pick a theme each year that casts a clear, vivid image for the organizations to decorate for,” Prather said. 

This year’s parade theme, “Christmas in Whoville,” allows organizations and businesses to tap into their inner Dr. Seuss and bring Whoville to life for the parade. Attendees can expect to see much of the Grinch. 

Mary Kathryn Kight heads up the OCH Regional Medical Center team and said the hospital plans a float with an amalgamation of medical and retail Whoville services. 

“We will have a Whospital, as well as a lot of shopping and stores,” she said. Kight said the OCH team won multiple awards in past parades, so it will pull out all the bells and whistles this year. 

“I am very excited for this year’s theme,” she said. “It is not only my favorite Christmas movie, but my daughter loves it as well.” 

For OCH, building a float for the parade brings about a sense of camaraderie among the employees. Meetings began a month ago, and construction began last week, so the OCH team is all hands on deck working on the float. 

According to GSDP’s website, the parade will take place Monday at 6 p.m. Along with the parade, the GSDP focuses on an open house, “Black Friday Bonanza,” and a holiday bazaar this time of year to provide “something for every Who!” The Bazaar will take place on Dec. 4 and 5 at the Starkville Sportsplex and will feature over 90 vendor booths. 

For the parade, attendees can line up along Main Street. But for those who want to see the parade floats show off their best, the spot to choose is in front of First United Methodist Church where the judges’ table will be located. The parade will also be televised on Channel 5 WOBV. 

One thing about Starkville’s Christmas parade is certain: the parade will warm hearts and just might cause them to grow three times too big. 

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Christmas parade brings Whoville to Starkville