Opelika’s annual Christmas parade begins the holiday season


The streets burst with festive music and cheers as the city of Opelika began the holiday season with its annual Christmas parade on Saturday.

The parade route ran through the streets of downtown Opelika, and the spectators lined the sidewalks to watch float pbading by.

With around 80 floats ranging from businesses and local organizations to high school bands and cheerleaders, the area was filled with participants and attendees. All the floats adhered to the theme of the parade, "Christmas Showcase: A Fun Tribute."

This year's parade made history as the city's first parade with a float sponsored by an LGBTQ organization. Pride On The Plains, a nonprofit group based in the Auburn-Opelika area, was happy to be included in the festivities.

"We are very excited to be here, and we are excited that everyone has been so accepting," said Chad Peabad, president of Pride On The Plains. "We fight against negativity with positivity, and we fight against ignorance with love, and we are here to celebrate Christmas like everyone else."

Pride on the Plains had more than 50 attendees marching with their float. His float was among many others that were covered with festive decorations and accompanied by cheerful music.

Opelika Utilities exhibited a float inspired by the movie "National Lampoon & # 39; s Christmas Vacation". The float presented a replica of the Griswold family's house covered in lights and a large squirrel with a tail moving in front.

According to the employee of Opelika Utilities, Andy Alsobrook, the carriage took about two months.

"We vote on our theme every year and try to continue with the theme of the parade," said Alsobrook.

Some of the most excited participants and spectators of the parade were children preparing for the holidays. Many of the floats were full of children greeting their friends on the sidewalks.

Local Girl Scout troops 7230 and 7238 shared a float that was full of girls from preschool through high school. According to troop leader Monica Frazier, they have been participating in the parade for about 12 years, and members anxiously await the event every year.

"I like to say 'Merry Christmas' to everyone, throwing candy and just having fun," said Isabelle McDonald, a Cadet Girl Scout.

After more than an hour of music, candy and Christmas cheer, the parade ended with Santa Claus riding through the city in a truck from the Opelika Fire Department, marking the beginning of the holiday season.

Gabby Dance | Writer of the community

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