As the temperature and colors of the leaves change, the leadership of the annual Auburn Christmas Parade is changing, too.
The event now finds itself under the direction of the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association.
Previous parades were under the leadership of Auburn’s Chamber of Commerce.
The organization, which is a coalition of various businesses in the heart of the city, such as Behind the Glass and Mountain High Outfitters, will take charge in parade operations to better represent the stores on College Street that are getting involved.
Though the Downtown Merchants Association will see the assembly of this year’s and future parades, its structure will remain relatively unaffected, said association coordinator Jessica Kohn.
“We are not changing anything from what [the Chamber] has done in the past. The route will stay the same and the way that you participate as a float. The lineup and all the logistics regarding that [won’t change] and it’s still free for the public to come and enjoy the parade,” Kohn said.
Despite the Chamber of Commerce relinquishing full control to the association, it will continue to assist in the proceedings whenever needed, given its longer experience in handling the parade.
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It will provide registration forms for interested participants at its office on East Glenn Avenue as an alternative to downloading the online application on the Downtown Merchants Association website.
One difference between past parades and the 2018 edition of the parade is that this is the second occasion on which it will be held on a Sunday afternoon — as opposed to the weeknight timing of years past.
“We feel that having it on a Sunday during the day will encourage the patrons who are coming to view the parade to shop or dine local either prior to the parade or after,” Kohn said. “I do expect all the merchants to be open that day, so if anyone would like to get Christmas shopping done, they should be able to do so.”
The deadline for parade entries is Nov. 30, and forms can be scanned and sent to the association’s email, mailed to its physical location or dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce.
There is a $25 entry fee. Further details may be found online at downtownauburnonline.com under the “events” tab.
As of Nov. 21, there were 45 businesses and organizations that have signed up to participate. There is a limit of 70 entries to the parade, Kohn said.
The Auburn Christmas Parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Dec. 7 in downtown Auburn.
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