The City of Crestview’s parade will take place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7, while Freeport’s will roll at 4:40 p.m. Laurel Hill will hold their parade at 3 p.m. Dec. 14.
The cities of Crestview, Freeport and Laurel Hill will hold their annual Christmas parades over the next two weekends.
In Crestview, the annual parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and be themed "Toyland."
The parade will take place before the city’s Christmas tree lighting on the Okaloosa County Courthouse terrace, which will be held at 5 p.m. The parade route will begin just south of the train tracks on Main Street and will end at Cedar Avenue.
"It’s the start of the Christmas season in Crestview," said Crestview City Clerk Betsy Roy. "It’s just a good time for everyone."
Since the parade is at night, candy will be handed out by walkers rather than thrown from floats.
According to Roy, the parade normally lasts two hours or more.
Also on Dec. 7, Freeport will host its 12th annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Event. It will begin at 4:40 p.m. and is expected to be the town’s largest parade ever.
"As Freeport grows we want to maintain our small-town traditions and our Christmas parade is our most cherished event. We are thrilled that our local and area businesses, civic groups and churches participate making each year better than the last," said Freeport Mayor Russ Barley.
This year’s parade theme is "Christmas Dreams." State Senator George Gainer is the Grand Marshall. Other participants will include festively decorated floats, vehicles, horses, and marching bands.
Immediately following the parade, the mayo will light the city’s Christmas tree and kick off a program featuring dance and musical numbers.
The parade will begin at Freeport Elementary School, proceed south on Business Hwy. 331, then turn west onto Hwy. 20. Parade participants will pass in front of Freeport City Hall then turn north onto Blueberry Road. Parking is available at Destiny Worship Center and other locations on Business 331 as well as on Hwy. 20.
For Laurel Hill, the ninth annual Christmas Parade will take place Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.
The parade will begin at the Industrial Park on New Ebenezer Road and end at the Post Office on Second Avenue.
According to Laurel Hill City Clerk Nita Miller, the parade normally lasts about an hour and averages 20 participants.
"It’s a small town Christmas parade," she said.
This year, participants will include the fire department, churches and groups from Laurel Hill School who will be giving out candy.
Parking for the parade is available at Gene Clary Park and Laurel Hill School.