Area residents will once again gather in downtown Sherman Friday, Dec. 7, for the annual Christmas Parade and Snowflake Festival. The Snowflake Festival will begin at 3 p.m. with 18 vendors set up around the Grayson County Courthouse square, while the parade — with this year’s “A Hollywood Christmas” theme — will begin at 7 p.m.
“This is a tradition that goes back many years, but in recent years has really been building,” Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker said during Monday’s City Council meeting. “To have the festival and then a really great parade in downtown Sherman, I think it’s something our citizens enjoy a lot.”
This year’s edition of the annual parade will feature 63 floats with two performance groups and five equestrian groups. The Snowflake Festival will have a number of art and crafts vendors, as well as people selling food and treats. Lauren Roth, the Sherman Chamber of Commerce’s events coordinator, explained that between the two events, there will be 934 participants this year.
“The Chamber has it for the first time this year,” Roth said of the events, though the Chamber has assisted the city’s department of tourism in the past. “So we’re hoping it’s going to be really big with a really good audience.”
Wacker said most of the Council will be riding in the parade Friday night and encouraged everyone to attend.
“It’s one of the special things about being on the Council, getting to be in the parade,” Deputy Mayor Pam Howeth agreed.
Local non-profit organization Women Rock will once again be joined on their float by the parade’s guest of honor — Santa Claus.
“This is a great time for area families to enjoy a holiday event with Santa riding on the Women Rock bus,” Chamber President Eddie Brown said. “Please join us for this exciting holiday event.”
Parade participants will line up next to the Sherman Public Library before turning onto North Travis Street for the beginning of the parade. The route will head south down Travis to the courthouse square where it will turn right onto West Lamar Street before taking another right onto North Crockett Street before ending at that street’s intersection with Mulberry Street. The master of ceremonies and judges stage will be set up on the courthouse grounds facing Kelly Square. This year’s judges — Carol Banner, Charles Hamilton and Asa Jessee — will be awarding cash for a grand prize, first and second prizes for floats, best equestrian group and best decorated car or motorcycle.
“I am really excited about the Chamber taking this on and appreciate the effort you guys have put into it,” Wacker said to Roth during Monday’s meeting.
The Council’s two newest members will have their first chance to ride in the parade while representing the city and each encouraged residents to attend, with Ryan Johnson pointing out the weather should be great for the events.
“Between the city and the state, there’s been a lot of stuff done in downtown Sherman,” Jason Sofey said. “It’ll be a chance for everybody to go down and actually walk the streets if they haven’t had a chance and look at all the improvements that have been done downtown.”