The TSDmemphis.com Holiday Parade – sponsored by The New Tri-State Defender – has been reset for Saturday, Dec. 15.
The parade, which signals the return of a tradition to the downtown area, originally was set for last Saturday, but was reset after thundershowers put a damper on plans.
TSD President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith II said the parade, which will begin at 9:30, will go on this Saturday rain or shine.
The parade will be the inaugural parade to travel the recently designated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and will be in support of Olympic Cares Toy Drive. In addition, it will feature special recognition for the state champion Tigers of Whitehaven High School. Whitehaven's football team won the TSSAA state title in Division 1, 6A in Cookeville, Tenn., on Dec. 1.
"The way they represented the city and the excitement they brought to the city deserves to be recognized," said Smith, who also is a Whitehaven graduate.
The parade will begin at the intersection of Fourth St. and Beale Street, head west on Beale to Second St., proceed south on Second St. to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., then east on MLK to Third St., head north on Third St. to Beale Street Alley, and then east back to Fourth St., where it will culminate.
Downtown has not had a holiday parade downtown in several years. Smith said many in the community have been looking forward to the return of just such an event.
"It is always great to bring kids and families out to celebrate during this time of year and what better place to do it than the heart of downtown and historic Beale Street where our offices just happen to be."
Organization and lining up for the parade starts at the corner of Fourth and Beale streets at 8 a.m. Christmas songs and entertainment will flow as the participating groups and floats are lined up for the now 9:30 a.m. start.
Registration IS NOW REOPEN!! Groups desiring to participate can register by calling 901-679-8545 and secure their position in the line-up.
Early arrival is encouraged for parade watchers to secure their spot on the streets of Beale and or MLK Jr. Avenue.
There is no cost to participate.
Attendees are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for the Olympic Cares Toy Drive. The toy drive is sponsored by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Frito Lay, Cricket Communications, Mapco and The New Tri-State Defender. Participants and parade-watchers are asked to donate a new toy to the toy drive, which officially ends on Dec. 10th but continues throughout the holiday season. The toys will be given away to various youth focused non-profit agencies .
For more information on how to participate in the parade, contact Nina Johnson at 901-679-8545, call the TSD offices at 901-523-1818.