‘I Believe in Santa Claus’ parade makes changes for 2017 season

For more than 25 years, Barbourville has celebrated the Christmas season with the ‘I Believe In Santa Claus’ parade. This year, organizers of the parade have made some changes to the iconic event.

In the past, the parade has almost always taken place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, however, the date has been changed to Saturday, Dec. 2.

“We’re just hoping it will be better; we want to be part of the City’s event ‘Christmas in Barbourville’,” said parade committee member Martha Mitchell. “

Christmas in Historic Barbourville is a three-day celebration in December. Barbourville Tourism holds a series of fun and festive activities for families to enjoy. These events include a Christmas Bazaar, where you can pick up some homemade crafts for Christmas presents, and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Besides changing the date, organizers of the parade have another surprise up their sleeves. For the first time, prizes will be awarded to the top three floats. Judged by the parade committee and sponsors, the first place winner will receive $500 and a trophy, second place will receive $250 and a trophy, and third place will get $125 and a trophy.

To get a chance to win the top spot, your float must meet a few minimum requirements. First your float must follow the holiday theme. Second you cannot have a Santa Claus on your float because, as always, Santa will make his grand appearance at the end of the parade. Third your float must but let lit with Christmas lights (headlights do not count for cars). Finally, while those in the parade are allowed to hand out candy, the parade committee asks that no one throw candy anything into the crowd.

Official line-up will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, on North Main Street. However, it is recommended to get there early as judging will take place before the parade. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. and North Main street around Court Square to North Allison Avenue to the Barbourville Water Park. There, children will get a chance to meet Santa Claus himself and get a treat.

“I’m excited that we are heading in a new direction with the ‘I Believe In Santa Claus’ parade,” said Mitchell.

“We just hope it’s bigger and better,” said parade committee member Joann Cheek.

For more information or to register your float, contact Martha Mitchell at 606-595-0451, or Joann Cheek at 606-546-3300.