Instead of the annual Christmas Parade the Madisonville Noon Kiwanis Club will be having a Christmas Parade of Lights from Dec. 5-19.
Due to COVID-19, having that many people working in close proximity to each other on the floats would not be safe so the club got creative, said Stephanie Townsell, president of the Kiwanis Club.
“We hope this event will bring a little joy to our community that we need so much right now,” said Townsell.
She said the club’s goal it to encourage families to get together, have fun decorating their home and enjoy all the Christmas lights.
The Parade of Lights will have three categories: resident, business and organization. The top three winners in each category will be announced the week before Christmas, and the top winner of each category will receive a $100 Chamber Check.
The bands that were going to perform during the parade will now record themselves performing and the club will include them in a video that will be aired locally, said Townsell.
“We wanted to give them an opportunity to still perform,” said Townsell.
She said there will be signs in the yards of those participating, so community members can find them more easily, along with an interactive map. The county GIS coordinator volunteered to create the map of all the participating locations.
The participating residents, businesses and organizations will have their address listed on the map, no other personal information will be given.
The interactive map will be available on the club’s Facebook page to view and print on Saturday, Dec. 5. The map will also be the way community members vote for their favorite decorations.
“We have had so much great feed back already from people who have had the same family tradition, and they are excited to see what kinds of displays occur because of this,” said Townsell.
Registration forms can be found on the Kiwanis’ Facebook page or at four locations: Madisonville City Hall, 67 N. Main Street; The Chamber of Commerce, 15 E. Center Street; The Tourism Commission, 28 Sugg Street and First United Bank, 162 N. Main Street.
The registration fee is $25 for a resident, $30 for a business and $20 for an organization. The fee can be paid online through PayPal or dropped off with the form.
“(The fee) just covers our fees for the yard signs and to put the event on,” said Townsell. “We kept it low because we are trying to encourage participation”
The club plans to cap entries at 100, but if they know early on the entries are going to surpass that number, they can adjust and make accommodations, she said.
“If everybody waits until the last minute to register, we could run into a spot where we can’t get more yard signs,” said Townsell.
The deadline to register for the parade is Tuesday, Dec. 1. Townsell said that deadline gives them time to get the interactive map completed and available.