Grab a coat and get ready to head downtown for some holiday cheer. It’s almost time for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual lighted Christmas parade.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday on California Street at Depot Lane and travel west to Chestnut Street, according to Lynn Hillis, executive director of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. It will then head north on Chestnut Street to Broadway Street where it concludes at Broadway and Dixon Streets.
Hillis said this year’s parade has 67 entries, some of which have multiple floats and cars.
“It will be a long parade,” Hillis said via an email interview.
The theme for this year’s parade is Christmas carols, and floats will be decorated to depict holiday tunes, she said.
Santa Claus is expected to light the tree in front of the Cooke County Courthouse as he passes by.
To add to the spirit of the evening, the chamber started a new campaign called “Fill the Flatbed.”
A flatbed truck will be parked at Prosperity Bank on California Street to serve as a collection point for canned and non-perishable foods to be donated to local food banks.
“The ‘Fill the Flatbed’ campaign was started just as a way to give back,” Hillis said. “So many people want to help, but don’t always know how or think they can do anything to make a difference. Having a visual, such as a truck bed, shows that even the smallest of donations really add up when everyone participates.”