CRESTVIEW — A festive evening with fun displays, a themed parade, lots of music and free candy is the basis of Crestview's annual Christmas celebration.

Sandra Wilson, Main Street Crestview Association program manager, said, "At 5 p.m. Dec. 2 we will have our Christmas tree lighting in downtown Crestview at the courthouse terrace. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m. by Hub City Smokehouse and will go north on Main Street towards the courthouse.

"There will be pictures with Santa after the parade in the pavilion right next to the courthouse," she said.

The theme for the parade and the business window display contest is "Your Favorite Christmas Movie or Story."

All downtown Crestview businesses may compete in the free display competition. Sign-up ends Dec. 18 and decorations must be completed by that afternoon, as judging will occur that evening.

Wilson said residents can expect stiff competition between area businesses like Remax Agency One, Hall's Motorsports of Crestview, Okaloosa Animal Clinic, ERA Burgan Learning Center, Childcare Network, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, North Okaloosa Medical Center, Progressive Chiropractic, Northwood Elementary School, Freedom Tax, Adams Party Bouncers, AA Tactical and The Vintage Attic.

Girl Scout Troop 2035, Knights of Columbus, Hall's Motorsports of Crestview, Okaloosa Animal Clinic, Zeb Watts Septic, Rocky Bayou Christian School and Ballet & Barre are also among competitors.

"We are extremely grateful for this year's sponsors, Okaloosa Gas, Tom Thumb, Community Redevelopment Agency, and, of course, the city of Crestview," Wilson said.

The parade and window contest winners will be presented at a City Council meeting in January, according to Wilson.