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Save the date for the annual Holiday Parade on Friday

WORTHINGTON -- The annual Holiday Parade is set and ready to bring the Christmas spirit to downtown Worthington on Friday evening. The parade will start at 6:30 p.m. with more than 15 lighted floats are currently set to proceed down 10th Street. ...

 

WORTHINGTON -- The annual Holiday Parade is set and ready to bring the Christmas spirit to downtown Worthington on Friday evening.

  The parade will start at 6:30 p.m. with more than 15 lighted floats are currently set to proceed down 10th Street. The Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band will be leading the parade along with floats sponsored by JBS, local boy and girl scout troops and the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra, among other business and organizations. As is customary, Santa Claus will be on hand, too.

  “It’s fun to see when it’s dark out and see the lighted floats,” said Amanda Walljasper-Tate, owner of the Daily Apple and a member of the Chamber's retail committee. “People love to see Santa make his official appearance.”

  Prior to the parade, horse carriage rides along 10th Street will be offered to residents beginning at 5 p.m.

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  “It is something that has been growing each year,” Walljasper-Tate said. “It’s a lighted holiday parade, and we just invite anyone who wants to be part of it. Businesses, organizations and families can have entries in the parade.”

  Organizations or individuals interested in participating in the parade can contact the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce office to sign up at 372-2919. Prizes will be awarded to winning participants.

  “I think it is a great kickoff for the holiday season,” said Ashley Goettig, administrative assistant at the Chamber. “It gets people excited about Christmas and the upcoming holiday season.”

  Free popcorn will be served by First State Bank Southwest and the Worthington Education Association at the corner of Third Avenue and 10th Street.

  Following the parade, Santa will be at Lit'l Wizards, and kids will be able to drop off their wish list in Santa’s Mailbox there. First United Methodist Church will be serving free hot chocolate and cookies, and the horse carriage rides will continue.

  Residents will also have the opportunity to start their holiday shopping with Worthington’s annual holiday open houses. Local business will be open extended hours with special deals, holiday treats and sales on Friday and Saturday.

  “It’s great to get people out and about and shopping for Christmas and maybe if they are not ready to start purchasing, they can get ideas for some holiday gifts,” Goettig said.

  Walljasper-Tate added that she encourages residents to attend to the event because it’s not only something the whole family can enjoy, but also a way to support local business.

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  “It’s a really fun night to just come out and support the community and see what the businesses have,” she said. “We hope that when there are any specials events like this, it just brings people out and they have a good time.”

  In addition, as a way to encourage residents to decorate their homes for the holiday season, the Community Improvement Committee of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the Holiday Lighting Contest for residents and businesses.

  Brenda Hurlbut, owner of Ax Photo & Portrait Studio and the Community Improvement Committee chairperson, said the public can submit their entrances to the Chamber until Dec. 2. Judging will be during the week of Dec. 5.

  Businesses and homes will be judged separately; they don’t need to be register to participate in the contest.

  “People need to have their lights up and ready by Dec. 2,” Hurlbut said.

  The contest is open to all Worthington residents and businesses. Displays will be judged by best use of color, originality, composition and best Chirstmas expression.

  “We are all about the beautification of our community and this is a way to show that we are Worthington proud,” Hurlbut said. “What a better time to do it than the Christmas season?”

  First place will receive $100 credit on their December utility bill and $100 in Chamber checks. Second place nets $75 in utility credit and $75 in Chamber checks check, while third place brings $50 of each.

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  The first-place winner for business display will receive $100 off 2017 Chamber dues and $100 credit on their December utility bill.

  Sponsors of the lighting contest are Worthington Public Utilities, the Daily Globe and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.

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