|Jaycees parade ushers in Christmas|
|Written by Jenny Jackowski, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 29 November 2012 15:45|
At 10 a.m. on Dec. 1, Jaycees will host its annual Christmas Parade, which starts at Kingsley Junior High in Normal, goes down southbound Center Street and ends in Downtown Bloomington.
Following the parade’s completion are a number of family friendly activities near the courthouse. There is “Christmas at the Courthouse” in the Museum, a fire truck with Santa and ISU’s marching band, the Big Red Marching Machine, directed by Dan Belongia.
Toys for Tots will also be collecting new toys during the parade to donate to less fortunate children, and the Girl Scouts of America will be collecting diapers for the Baby Fold.
“This is our 83rd year. It’s a pretty popular parade. Three years ago we had really bad weather and had to cancel and we had a lot of very unhappy people and rescheduled because so many people wanted us to have the parade,” Megan Carter, co-chairman of the parade and the administrative vice president for Jaycees, said.
The parade has been growing larger in the last three years. This year, there are over 40 different entries including the Big Red Marching Machine and a high school marching band.
“They’re our grand marshalls, so that’s pretty cool. We’ve never had them before. We’re really excited about them,” Carter said.
The Bloomington Town Council, the Normal Town Council and the mayor of Normal will also be walking in the parade.
Spectators can line up to watch the parade anywhere along Center Street.
Jaycees is a young people leadership organization. Adults between the ages of 18 and 40 can join and take on leadership projects. Some of the projects include a beer and wine tasting and a can-a-thon.
Carter has been a parade cochairman with her husband the last few years.
“It’s a great opportunity to build your résumé and form leadership experience through doing these projects,” Carter said.