By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
It will soon to be “Christmas-time in the City of Liberal,” the annual Christmas Parade is right around the corner and locals have come to associate the event with one thing – the car giveaway.
The parade, sponsored by the High Plains Daily Leader will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 4. The downtown Third Street fountain will be the sight of afternoon entertainment, the parade announcers, as well as the car giveaway as the parade wraps up.
“It’s almost time for our annual Christmas Parade. It has always been a way to bring our community together and celebrate Christmas,” Daily Leader publisher and owner Earl Watt said. “For the last several years, obviously, we have had car giveaways. Last year, we gave away a Mazda Miata, this year it is a 2003 silver Mustang. It is a very clean car. XM Radio has been added to it.”
The hue of the 2003 Mustang allowed for the theme of this year’s Christmas Parade to take on a life of its own.
“Because it is silver, our theme this year is ‘Silver Bells,’” Watt said. “We also like the tag, ‘It’s Christmas Time in the City.’ It is Christmas-time in the City of Liberal – we want people to enjoy their Christmas here and come out and enjoy the parade.”
As in years past, entertainment will be presented before the parade gets underway. There will also be an opportunity for local organizations to set up booths, those interested are encouraged to call 626-0840 for further information. Those interested in participating in the parade in the form of a float are urged to call as well.
“We already have some entertainment lined up,” Watt said. “The entertainment will start in the afternoon, as always, and we will end the day with the parade. There is no cost for anything to do with the parade, if you want to come sell hot chocolate or chili, just contact us at 626-0840 and ask for Jason – he will get everyone signed up. There is no cost, so you can keep 100 percent of what you make. Just come on down and set up, but please call ahead so we know you are coming. We will also let the folks know through the paper, too, that you will be there.
“If you want to put your business or organization in the parade with a float, you are welcome to do that,” Watt explained. “The float entry is running in the paper, just fill that out and turn it in. We encourage everyone to participate. We would like to know by Thursday, Dec. 2, for sure. We need to know how many there will be so we can properly stage the parade.”
Watt is aware the highlight of the parade, each year, is the giveaway of a car. He would like to remind those signing up for a chance to win at businesses throughout town that in order to win the car, the winner must be present.
“Someone will drive off with a car,” he said. “You can sign up right now – the car is already showing up in different locations all around the area – just watch the paper to find out where. It is 100 percent free – there is not a cost, it is not a raffle or anything like that. You must be present to win – we want to bring people out together for the parade.”
Watt looks forward to the event that brings the community together in one place to officially kick off the Christmas season. He invites everyone to come out and join The Daily Leader for some festive fun – and a chance to win a car.
“It will be a great evening,” Watt said. “It has become an annual tradition, and we appreciate the support we have had in the community to come out and watch the parade and be a part of it.”