Equine entries will be allowed in this year’s Waxahachie Christmas Parade, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

The annual event, co-sponsored by the Waxahachie Optimist Club and Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, had previously announced no equine entries would be allowed in this year’s parade due to safety concerns caused by the lack of a staging area.

The area previously used as a staging area for equine entries, located at the corner of College Street and Marvin Avenue, is under construction for a new office building.

Following an article that appeared in Tuesday’s edition of the Waxahachie Daily Light, C.A. Wilson’s contacted the parade committee and offered its parking lot on College Street to be used as a staging area for horse entries in the parade.

“Thanks to the generosity of C.A. Wilson’s, we now have a place for our equine entries to wait before the parade begins,” parade committee member David Hudgins announced Wednesday morning. “Having horses in the parade has been a long-standing tradition and we want their participation. But when we made the initial decision, at that time we weren’t able to find a place for all the horses to gather in a safe location prior to the parade.”

Due to the generosity of C.A. Wilson’s, Hudgins said equine entries may be dropped off at the College Street site prior to 9 a.m. Saturday. Parking for the horse trailers will be available at Marvin Elementary School.

“The safety of our participants and viewers is our No. 1 concern,” Hudgins stressed. “Thanks to C.A. Wilson’s, we now have a safe place for our horse entries to gather prior to the parade. We greatly appreciate their generosity and citizenship in helping make Waxahachie a wonderful community — and in helping us maintain a long-standing community tradition.”

Hudgins said the parade committee will contact those who have previously participated with equine entries in past parades to announce the rule change.

“We do need everyone’s help in getting the word out,” Hudgins said. “If there is someone who wanted to participate in this year’s Christmas parade with an equine entry, we want you to come.”

Equine entries are encouraged to call the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce at 972- 937-2390 to provide notice of their intention to participate.

Only equine entries are being granted late entry status, as the deadline for registration to participate in this year’s parade ended Monday.

“We do want to again thank C.A. Wilson’s and the Waxahachie Daily Light, which also made the offer of their lot for a staging area,” Hudgins said.

Parade entries will begin lining up on College Street at 9 a.m. Saturday with the parade stepping off at 10 a.m. The parade will proceed south on College, turning right on Main Street, right on U.S. Highway 77, right on Marvin Avenue and ending back at the starting point on College.

E-mail Neal at neal.white@waxahachiedailylight.com