The City of Southside will host its first Christmas parade at dusk Saturday — one of several Christmas events slated, Mayor Dana Snyder said, after city leaders made a decision to expand the city's celebrations of the season.
"We said last year we wanted to expand our Christmas events," the mayor said.
Council member Genny Ball and a committee started working to determine what the city should do.
It's already begun — the Southside-Rainbow Boat Parade was well attended last Saturday, the mayor said. Work was underway this week to put up community Christmas trees in front of the old high school site, between City Hall and the community center.
"It was decided that we could support a parade," Snyder said. That came after consulting with the police and fire department about a potential route.
For Southside, it's not as easy as in some cities. Gadsden can block Broad Street and march its parade through downtown, Southside, however, has Alabama Highway 77 running right down the middle, Snyder said, and it can't be blocked off.
Instead, the parade will line up at 4:30 p.m. at Danny League Field, the baseball field, behind Southside High School, and come down Daystar Drive, turn onto School Drive and continue toward Southside City Hall, then turn left toward the community center, where the parade will disband.
"We felt that was the safest route," Snyder said, of those suggested for the parade.
Before the parade, there will be more at least 40 vendors in the parking area across the street from City Hall, in front of the old high school site, for the Southside Christmas Festival and Craft Show. The city had to turn vendors away, Snyder said, because there was not space for more.
The festival is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., she said, and will feature food vendors and jumping houses for children and a petting zoo, as well as candles, candies, clothing, toys and more. It will wrap up as the parade begins.
The city will host a visit from Santa at 5 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, with tree lighting at 5:45 p.m.
Members of the Southside High School Band will perform Christmas carols and food vendors will be present from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Southside's first Christmas parade steps off Saturday