Several communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood traditionally mark the start of the holiday shopping season with parades.
Several parades have float contests, giving local businesses, churches, civic organizations, schools and other groups an opportunity to present their holiday greetings to the public. It’s also a time for music, with most parades featuring one or more area high-school bands. Many parades also include equestrian entries with single riders or wagons pulled by teams of horses, and few parades would be complete without a visit from Santa Claus.
Here are some of the holiday parades scheduled in and around the Fort Leonard Wood area:
— The Lebanon Holiday Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Boswell City Park on Elm Street in Lebanon. The theme of this year’s parade is “A Christmas Wish.” The parade will proceed from the park and travel east along Elm to Jefferson Avenue, where the route turns west and will end at the old Lebanon Junior High School campus. For more information, visit the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce website at lebanonmissouri.com or call the chamber at 417.588.3256.
— The Kiwanis Annual Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 1, starting at the Waynesville Middle School parking lot and proceeding along Route 66 to the historic Waynesville Square. The theme is “Songs of Christmas.” Due to construction at the school, organizers are asking parade vehicles and motorists in the area to be patient with traffic from the time the lineup begins at noon. For details, call Tim Berrier at 573.774.3001 or visit the Kiwanis-Club-of-Pulaski-County Facebook page for details.
— A lighted parade is part of Crocker’s annual Christmas on Main Street, scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 1. The celebration will include photos with Santa and crafts, along with free hot dogs, hot chocolate and cookies. For more information, visit the Crocker Community Park Facebook page, or call the Crocker Park Board at 573.528.5681. — The Laquey Christmas Parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 7. The parade is held in conjunction with the Buckhorn-Laquey Lion’s Club Christmas Bazaar, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Laquey Elementary School gymnasium. For more information, call 573.528.8840.
— The 49th annual Rolla Christmas Parade begins at 10 a.m. Dec. 7 on Pine Street in downtown Rolla. The theme of this year’s parade is “Christmas on the Polar Express.” The parade is still taking entries through Friday. To enter the parade, or for more information, call the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce at 573.364.3577.
— The St. James Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at St. James High School and end at the Missouri Veteran’s Home with a tree lighting and visit from Santa Claus. The theme of this year’s parade is “Christmas Through A Child’s Eyes.” For more information, visit the St. James Chamber of Commerce Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STJChamber.
— The Richland Christmas Parade starts at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 at Shady Dell Park and proceeds to downtown Richland. The theme is “A Vintage Christmas.” The parade is being held in conjunction with the Shady Dell Ole Time Christmas event, scheduled from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the park. For more information, visit the Richland Chamber of Commerce Facebook page or its website at http://visitrichlandmo.com.