NEW ROUTE PLANNED FOR STAR CITY HOLIDAY PARADE
New preview night will kick off festivities
Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that the 24th annual Star City Holiday Parade Saturday, December 6 will take a new route in downtown Lincoln. Instead of starting at 10th and “O,” the parade will begin at 14th and “M,” go east to Centennial Mall, north to “O,” and west to 10th.
“Taking a different route gives a new twist to one of our City’s favorite holiday traditions,” said Mayor Beutler.” “This year’s theme is ‘Toys on Parade,’ and we expect the Parade to appeal to kids of all ages. I want to thank Verizon Wireless for its partnership as presenting sponsor of the Parade. I also want to thank Updowntowners and its army of volunteers for creating the magic for all of us to enjoy.” Mayor Beutler and his wife, Judy, will travel the Parade route in a horse-drawn carriage.
The Parade is always looking for ways to improve, said Deb Johnson, Executive Director of Updowntowners, Inc., which produces the Parade in conjunction with the City of Lincoln. She said the new route offers several advantages. The Parade will again be televised live statewide by KOLN-KGIN-TV, and the new route will allow those watching at home to see the State Capitol in the background.
“The ‘O’ Street skywalk sometimes slows down our giant balloons, but the skywalk will now be at the end of the Parade, so we’ll see fewer gaps in the line-up,” Johnson said. “This will help to keep the Parade moving for our entries and patrons.”
On December 6, pre-parade entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. along the route, and the Parade begins at 11 a.m. But the fun really gets started the evening of Friday, December 5 with a new Parade Preview Night.
“We hope the public will come to the Pershing Center starting at 6 p.m. to watch the walking units rehearse,” Johnson said. “Children can bring their letters for Santa and have their pictures taken with him inside Pershing. We’ll also have refreshments for sale and live entertainment.”
A panel of band professionals will judge the bands in competition. All other judging will be done by a panel of children ages 8 through 12. Johnson said they will judge the walking units on Parade Preview Night, and winners will be announced at the Parade. Johnson said there will be no awards ceremony after the Parade so participants and spectators can enjoy lunch and shopping in downtown. Marcus Theatres is offering free holiday movies at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parade highlights will include four giant balloons and 18 marching bands, including the Cornhusker Marching Band. Other annual favorites include animal units, clowns, costumed characters, the Star City Sweets and Rudolph with Bugle the Elf. As usual, Santa and Mrs. Claus will wind up the parade. Children are encouraged to bring their letters to Santa with a return address. U.S. Postal Service employees will pick up the letters during the Parade, and Santa will write back to them before the holidays.
The City is offering free parking for the Parade in its lots and garages, those marked with the green “Park It” signs.
Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful is promoting the Parade as litter-free event, and volunteers will be along the Parade route to help collect trash and educate the public on the proper disposal of trash.
The Parade will be re-aired at noon Dec. 7 on My TV, Time Warner Cable channel 110.