Each year, thousands of residents and visitors gather downtown to enjoy the Oaklawn Rotary Christmas Parade. This festive holiday tradition wouldn't be possible without the work of many dedicated volunteers. In addition to our energetic club members, led by parade Chairman Lee Richardson, the parade involved numerous partnerships with individuals and agencies, each of whom played a vital role in the parade's success.
Our club established online parade entry registration by launching a new website, http://hotspringschristmasparade.com, with the help of Robin Shamel. Garland County Historical Society Executive Director Liz Robbins rode in style in a vehicle furnished and driven by Jeff Purnell. Kevin Thompson, White's Mobile Home Supply and ABC Block & Brick made sure we had everything we needed for the reviewing stand and PA system, while Trent Foreman excelled as parade emcee. Mark Dickerson was an outstanding Santa, with Dr. Daron Praetzel providing Santa's classy ride and serving as his driver.
Special thanks go to our parade sponsors: Seiz Signs, Ouachita Financial Advisors, Trent's Floor Solutions, Genesis Cancer Center, Sanders Plumbing Supply, Jordan Woosley Crone & Keaton, Steamatic, Hospice Home Care and Simmons Bank, with support from the city of Hot Springs. We also appreciate Resort Television Cable for rebroadcasting the parade on their community access channel during the holidays.
The marching bands from our many wonderful area schools, combined with colorful floats, vehicles, horses and other individual entries, made this year's parade theme of "Visions of Christmas Long Ago" uplifting and memorable for all. Proceeds from the Oaklawn Rotary Christmas Parade, in part, go to the Project HOPE Food Bank and other local charitable organizations.
Please mark your calendars for the next parade on Dec. 4, 2017. We'll see you there!
President Candace Young
Oaklawn Rotary Club
Editorial on 01/11/2017