It was definitely a time to be jolly in Red Oak Saturday as the second annual Christmas in Downtown Red Oak Parade and festivities were held with this year’s theme entitled, “An Old Fashioned Christmas.”
Organized by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, the parade started at the junior high school with an extended line of creative floats and ended at Main Street Plaza for the downtown festivities.
This year’s parade saw several entries, director Mike Hopping said.
“There were 25 entries this year and we had more lighted floats than last year,” Hopping said, noting the number was a little down from last year due to the other events going on in the area.
As part of the festivities, there was a float contest with Red Oak councilman Andy Bell and parks board members Adam Chapa, Joe Perez and Ralph Madden organizing the placement of the entries.
The Red Oak Junior High cheerleaders won first place in the contest, with Kid’s University winning second place and Greater Southwest Shriners Club coming in third place.
There was also an 8-foot stocking full of games and candy, which was given by the parks department, raffled off and won by 7-year-old Colton Johnson.
Music entertainment was provided by Top Tunes4U Karaoke, with several other groups performing, including the Red Oak Hawkettes, the Red Oak Junior High choir and groups from Dance Xpressions.
As people enjoyed the music, they also enjoyed the great taste of hot cocoa, which was provided by Randy’s BBQ.
A One of A Kind Pony Party provided children with fun and entertainment with pony rides and a petting zoo.
But the fun didn’t stop there as Santa Claus was on hand for pictures.
With the nice weather making it such a pleasant night for fun, community residents came out to enjoy all the festivities there to make it a night to remember.
“People in the community were out for the parade and the downtown festivities so the response was outstanding,” Hopping said. “It was a great success and everything ran very smooth with zero problems.”
“The parade was great,” added Lauren Whatley, the city’s tourism coordinator. “We had a great turnout from the community and they seemed to have a good time. It really helped that we had perfect weather because I think that brought out more people.”
“It was a really fun night to kick off the Christmas season,” said Jennifer Ware, administrative assistant. “My husband and 2-year-old daughter also attended and she loved every minute of it, especially the parade and pony rides. The parks department really put a lot of effort into this event, and we were excited to see that everyone enjoyed themselves.”
Organizing an event of this magnitude, Ware said it was only by the long hours from dedicated volunteers that made it a successful one.
“We had a tremendous response to this event and it couldn’t have been possible without the help of countless volunteers, the Red Oak parks board, the Red Oak Police Department, the Red Oak Police Explorers and many sponsors,” Ware said. “We would also like to thank all of the Main Street Plaza businesses for helping with the stocking raffle and refreshments.”
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