Plenty of parade spots remain in chamber's 'Star Express' lineup

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“All Aboard the Star Express!”

Downtown Kilgore’s two largest holiday events coordinated themes this year to spark the Christmas spirit.

Both Kilgore Historic Preservation Foundation’s Very Derrick Christmas and Kilgore Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 parade motif take inspiration from “The Polar Express.”

“With a Kilgore twist,” says chamber executive assistant Lisa Morgan.

While KHPF’s derrick lighting ceremony kicks off the holiday season downtown Thursday, Nov. 15 – see separate story on Page 1 – the chamber’s 88th annual Christmas parade gets rolling at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.

In addition to a line of ‘Star Express’ parade entries with train-inspired decorations, “We want to have a cohesive theme in case store owners also want to decorate,” according to chamber president Jill McCartney. “We encourage them to do so … if the downtown businesses want to decorate for the theme, it will be carried throughout the holiday season.”

The route will stay the same for the chamber event: parade floats will stage on Lawrence and North Street near Kilgore City Park to proceed along Main Street toward downtown, turning right on North Kilgore Street.

The parade entry fee is $30, and registrations are due Wednesday, Nov. 21.

So far, McCartney said, the pace of the sign-ups has been a bit slow with 32 floats on the roster as of Tuesday.

With a couple of weeks left until the registration deadline, she’s not worried.

“Coming in slow, but everybody waits until the last minute,” McCartney said. “It’s going along nicely. I think the theme has been well-received.”

In addition to entertaining the thousands of Kilgoreites and visitors lining the parade route Nov. 27, floats compete for a variety of awards from the chamber including Overall Best in Show and double-categories (one for business, one for nonprofits) for Best Use of Theme, Best Decorated Float and Honorable Mention.

Pick up a parade entry form at the Kilgore Chamber office at 813 N. Kilgore St. or request a digital version via email to lmorgan@kilgorechamber.com.

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