Stuart Main Street and the Downtown Business Association of Stuart announced this week that plans are underway for the 52nd annual Stuart Christmas Parade. The parade, held every year on the first Friday in December, will take place at 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 7, 2012. This year’s theme is “Christmas by the Sea.”
The eagerly anticipated announcement of the theme kicks off a three month period of preparation during which local schools, churches, civic clubs and businesses design and build the nearly 50 spectacular lighted floats that make up the parade along with marching bands, twirling groups and, of course, Santa Claus. “Everyone loves a parade – especially one with as long of a tradition as the Stuart Christmas Parade – so interested groups start calling as early as February to ask about the theme,” says parade co-chair, Bonnie Landry. “Of course there’s a lot of friendly competition too,” Landry added.
Every year the parade committee awards prizes in five categories based on the parade theme and float size (Length is the length of the float alone, not including the towing vehicle):
Christmas by the Sea (Under 30’ and 30’-40’) – The float best exemplifying this year’s theme in each size category.
Illuminations/Musical (Under 30’ and 30’-40’) – The most amazing display of lights and/or music in each size category.
Stuart’s Choice – The judges’ favorite float!
To participate, interested groups must complete a parade application and submit it with the $50.00 entry fee by October 19, 2012. Late entries will not be accepted. Applications are available online at www.StuartMainStreet.org under “sponsored events” or by sending an email to StuartChristmasParade@yahoo.com with “Application” in the subject line. The application includes detailed guidelines and rules for parade participation. Additional questions should be submitted to the same email address.
The 52-year old Stuart Christmas Parade is a Martin County tradition treasured by the community. Stuart Main Street took on operation of the parade, which was once organized by the local Soroptomist Club, in 2010. This year the Downtown Business Association of Stuart has joined Stuart Main Street in organizing the parade, which is funded entirely through sponsorships and entry fees. Sponsorship opportunities range from $150 to $1,500 and offer a variety of benefits for private and corporate contributors. Complete sponsorship information and forms are available for download or by sending an email to StuartChristmasParade@yahoo.com with “Sponsor” in the subject line.
This year’s parade co-chairs are Teresa Lamar-Sarno and Bonnie Landry. Volunteers are also needed. To volunteer, email email@example.com.