Denison’s annual Christmas parade, which organizers bill as "the largest parade in north Texas and southern Oklahoma," will aim for scenes of Norman Rockwell-ian bliss this year, with the theme: "A picture perfect Christmas." Chamber of Commerce President Anna McKinney said the theme was purposely left a bit ambiguous to allow float builders maximum flexibility.

Denison’s annual Christmas parade, which organizers bill as "the largest parade in north Texas and southern Oklahoma," will aim for scenes of Norman Rockwell-ian bliss this year, with the theme: "A picture perfect Christmas." Chamber of Commerce President Anna McKinney said the theme was purposely left a bit ambiguous to allow float builders maximum flexibility.


"It’s really open to everyone’s interpretation," McKinney said. "We really like to do that; it turns out to be a better parade that way and allows everyone to participate."


This year’s parade will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5. An hour before the parade begins, floats will line-up on Crawford Street, with the queue starting at the intersection of Armstrong. McKinney said the parade is a Denison mainstay.


"It’s a huge tradition that’s been going on for 100 years. We have a lot of very large, good, good floats from organizations, churches and businesses. Last year we had well over 100 entries, so we have a really good blend in our parade that’s representative of our community."


There is no fee for entering a float in the parade, but all participants are required to sign a liability waiver. The Chamber permits candy, but only if it’s handed-out by individuals walking alongside the floats. Throwing candy is prohibited for safety reasons. The chamber provides a Santa Clause float, and does not permit competing St. Nicks.


"It just seems to grow every year, and of course it’s always led off by our Denison High School band and drill team, and that kind of sets the mood for the whole evening," McKinney said. "It spikes interest (in local businesses); it creates a lot of awareness of what’s downtown."


Those interested in registering can find a form on the chamber’s website, at http://www.denisontexas.us, or stop by the chamber offices on Woodard Street. Categories for entry include commercial, individual or organization, equestrian, walking group, and car/motorcycle. Prizes will be handed out for grand champion, first and second.


"It’s something that everyone really looks forward to every year," said McKinney. "And regardless of the weather, it’s exciting. It can be cold, it can be raining, and yet, everyone’s still smiling."