Old fashioned Christmas activities this year are the Jacksonville Christmas parade, the Lighting of Hazel Tilton Park and a tour of homes.
The parade is set for 6:15 p.m. Dec. 6, and line-up will begin at 5:45 p.m. on Commerce and Patton streets. Floats will begin at Commerce and Patton streets, continue on Commerce Street, turn left by the Tomato Bowl, turn left on Wilson Street, continue on Wilson Street and end up back at Commerce and Patton streets.
The theme for this year's parade is “Christmas Memories,” and nursing home residents will serve as the 2012 grand marshal.
Parade chairwoman Melody Walters, who works in a nursing home, said she chose the theme after thinking about holidays that residents had compared to what people experience now. For instance, one man remembered making Christmas ornaments, and people would hang socks instead of stockings and use a potbellied stove, Ms. Walters said.
“I just thought it's got to be so different for them now to see the materialistic things of it. (Back then) it was about eating together and family time. It wasn't about the presents. … So I thought we're going to dedicate this parade to nursing home residents,” she said.
Ms. Walters encouraged all local nursing homes to participate, adding that nursing home vans will follow behind the grand marshal so residents can wave at the crowd.
There also will be a float contest for the best decorated float with prizes for first, second and third place.
“I've had several calls and several really neat ideas from people who are building floats,” Ms. Walters said. “I'm just excited the community is as involved as they are. … I'm so excited every year to see how many participants we have.”
“We try to get everyone up and going (for the Christmas season),” Ms. Walters said.
The Lighting of the Hazel Tilton Park will take place after the parade at the corner of Bolton Street and U.S. Highway 79.
The event is sponsored by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and the park is decorated by the Jacksonville Fire Department.
The tour of homes is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9.
Homes that are part of the tour are Malinda Felts-Shoemaker Hill Ranch, 800 County Road 1815; Shell and Tonya Sanford, 1031 Farm-to-Market Road 768; Weldon and Charlotte Taylor, 1627 Quevado St;, Jacksonville College-Newburn-Rawlinson Home, 406 Kickapoo St.; and the hospitality business is the Jacksonville College Bookstore, 105 B.J. Albritton Drive.
“Each house reflects their personality, what they like and their style,” Susan Jones, chairwoman of the tour, said.
She said maps will be provided at the homes and at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, 526 E. Commerce St., and signs will be put out to help attendees find the homes.
Tickets will be available at the chamber, 526 E. Commerce St. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
Businesses that would like to participate in the parade can print off a Christmas parade form at www.jacksonvilletexas.com.
The form must be returned to the chamber or faxed to 903-586-6944. The deadline to enter is Nov. 30.
For more information about the holiday events, contact the chamber at 903-586-2217.