Date set for Alabaster Christmas parade

Alabaster's 2014 Christmas parade will be on Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. on U.S. 31. (File)

Alabaster’s 2014 Christmas parade will be on Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. on U.S. 31. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster residents will have a chance to kick off the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 6, as dozens of floats and groups will parade down U.S. 31.

The city’s annual Christmas parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 6, according to the Alabaster Parks and Recreation Department. This year’s parade will follow the same route as last year’s, and will begin at the Ernest McCarty Ford dealership on U.S. 31 before turning right onto Second Place Northwest, traveling down First Street Southwest and ending at the stop sign in front of Southbrook Village.

During the parade, which is organized and sponsored by Alabaster city personnel and the Alabaster Beautification Board, the two southbound lanes of U.S. 31 will be closed, and northbound and southbound traffic will be diverted onto the two northbound lanes.

The theme of this year’s parade is “The Gift of Christmas,” and was chosen by students at the city’s elementary schools. During the parade, spectators are encouraged to line up along the southbound side of U.S. 31.

Alabaster currently is accepting forms from those interested in participating in the parade. Forms are available online through Nov. 14 at http://cityofalabaster.com/christmas-parade-registration-now-thru-nov-14/, and should be completed and mailed to Alabaster Christmas Parade, C/O Parks and Recreation, 100 Depot St., Alabaster, Ala., 35007.

The city will set up a judging station in front of the former City Hall building on U.S. 31, and floats will have a chance to conduct 1-minute performances for the judges when they stop in front of the building.

After the parade, the judges will award winners in the following categories: Best Holiday Spirit, Best Use of Theme, Best Walking Entry, Most Creative and Most Entertaining.

No live Santa Claus characters will be allowed in the parade, as the city’s official Santa Claus will be riding on an Alabaster fire truck. No dirt bikes are allowed in the parade, according to information on the city’s website.