On Dec. 8th, The New Tri-State Defender will host the TSDmemphis.com Holiday Parade, signaling the return of a tradition to Downtown Memphis.
"Many in the community have been looking forward to the return of a downtown holiday parade. We listened and embraced the opportunity to extend our brand in serving our readership and the community at-large during this festive season of giving," said TSD President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith II.
"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."
The TSDmemphis.com Holiday Parade will begin at 10 a.m. (organization and lining up starts at 8 a.m.) at the corner of Fourth and Beale streets.
The morning will begin at 8 a.m. with Christmas songs and entertainment as the participating groups and floats are lined up for the 10 a.m. start. The parade route will begin at Fourth and Beale, head south towards Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., proceed west on MLK Jr. Ave. to Second St., proceed north to Beale, then east on Beale and back to Fourth, where it will culminate. Holiday Lane (grand stand) performances will be judged and awarded.
The parade also presents an additional opportunity for contributions to the Olympic Cares Toy Drive (organized by Olympic Tax Service) 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. The toys will be given away at the Neighborhood Christian Center (NCC) on Dec. 13th to families that have signed up with NCC.
"The parade gives us one last opportunity to secure additional gifts for the anticipated 1,000 families in need that we will serve to make sure those children have a Merry Christmas," said Christian Davis, CEO of Olympic Tax Service.
"The New Tri-State Defender has been a tremendous partner to Olympic Taxes and all of our sponsors to make this year's annual toy drive a huge success. I appreciate Bernal's vision to bring a holiday parade back to downtown Memphis and make the toy drive a part of it."
Smith said publications such as the TSD have always been rooted in the community.
"We continue to report, support and champion the issues and causes important to the community. Supporting the toy drive is just an extension of that commitment," Smith said.
"We are committed to doing good while doing well and having fun while doing it all! With the TSDmemphis.com Holiday Parade we are purposing to build a new Memphis tradition that young people and families throughout the Mid-South can look forward to each year during this season."
Registrations will be taken through Dec. 6th. Affordable sponsorship opportunities for businesses are still available as well.
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, or visit www.tsdmemphis.com.
In operation for 61 years, The New Tri-State Defender is located at 203 Beale Street, Suite 200, in Downtown Memphis. It is owned by Real Times Media, whose newspaper group also includes the Michigan Chronicle, Michigan FrontPage, New Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender and the Atlanta Daily World.
Real Times Inc. is the nation's largest African-American owned and operated newspaper organization.