TORONTO - The city's annual Great Expectations Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Focus in Toronto organization and the city chamber, is set for 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 1.
Lineup for the parade begins at 4:30 p.m. and those participating must be lined up by 5:15 p.m., according to Brenda Cich, chairman of the Focus in Toronto organization.
"The parade begins at the corner of Fourth and Myers streets and continues to the corner of Fourth and Main streets," she said. "Santa Claus will be at the (city gazebo commons.) Those coming are welcome to bring a camera to take photos of Santa and their child. We also will have treat bags for kids."
Cich said those wishing to participate are welcome to use Christmas lights in their entries. Prizes will include first-, second- and third-place cash awards for floats as well as first-, second- and third-place trophies for dance or gymnastics troupes.
"The parade will be broadcast live on Jefferson County Cable and also be aired several times throughout the holiday season," said Cich.
Cich said there are a few rules to participate in the event.
"For their safety, children younger than 5 are not permitted to march and must be on a float or in a vehicle," she said, adding "live" Santas in displays are prohibited. "Santa will arrive at the end of the parade. We don't want to confuse the little ones. We reserve the right to deny entry to any 'live' Santa."
"Horses are welcome," continued Cich. "However, (those participating) must provide their own cleanup crew to follow the entry. Dance and performance groups are permitted to stop for a maximum of one minute for the entire group."
Cich asked those participating that when they reach the end of the parade route to keep moving through the intersection and not stop.
"(Those participating) can either turn left on Main Street or proceed through the intersection," said Cich. "Lineup numbers and parade maps will be mailed to participants approximately five to seven days prior the parade."
Cich said there is no deadline for entering the parade, but those applying to participate after Nov. 24 won't be mailed a map and will have to wait until the parade for their lineup number.
Application forms are available for download at www.focusintoronto.com or at the City Police Department in the City Municipal Building. Forms should be mailed to Focus In Toronto. P.O. Box 43, Toronto, OH 43964. For information, call Cich at (740) 632-2477 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.