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Getting ready for Christmas — courthouse decoration lighting this week

Santa is in his sleigh, Rudolph is ready to go and the Christmas trees and wreaths are festooned with plenty of lights.

It won’t be long now until all the Christmas decorations surrounding the Wilbarger County Courthouse will be lit to usher in Vernon’s Christmas on the Western Trail and Lighted Parade.

Members of the Christmas Parade Committee with assistance from volunteers, including members of the Vernon College baseball team, residents of Hope Center as well as other individuals, have been busy this month placing the many decorations and displays around the square. The official lighting will be held on Thanksgiving night at 5:30 p.m.  Residents and visitors are invited to attend and enjoy singing Christmas carols as well as refreshments of hot chocolate and cookies.

The lighting of the Christmas lights will be a prelude to the annual Lighted Christmas parade set to take place in downtown Vernon on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The fun-filled day will feature vendors set up around the courthouse beginning that morning. Those wishing to have a booth may do so for $5 until Dec. 5 after which the fee will be $20.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14,  and will follow the traditional parade route. The parade theme this year is “Christmas.”

Entries should portray a general, family-oriented Christmas setting, however, floats or vehicles are requested not to have Santa characters as Santa Claus will be presented by the Parade Committee.

All entries must have some form of lighting, including floats, mounted riders, band members, motorcycles and bicycles. No water guns, water balloons, paint guns, laser pointers or any other object may be used during the parade, and no candy, gum, or toys may be thrown from the entries. Bicycles must be in a group with proper adult supervision. Special entries may be allowed upon request and review by the parade chairman.

Judges will rate floats and other entries, and the first place float will receive $300 while the second place float will receive $200. Best decorated car or truck will receive $100 first place and $50 for second place. Best decorated golf cart, ATV or Razor will receive $100. Miscellaneous such as motorcycles, tractors, horses or semis will receive $100 for first place and $50 for second place.

The deadline for registration of parade entries is Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. To pick up a registration form and complete list of rules or for other questions, contact Treva Tucker at 940-553-3766. Others who may be contacted for information are Jerry Lou Schmoker, 940-887-9188; Jim and Martha Gryseels, 940-887-9188; Bubba Edwards, 940-886-8133.

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