Stefanie Brickman, VisitNorman, 405.366.8095 or Brickman@visitnorman.com
Christmas parade moves to evening event
Long-time committee chair, wife serve as grand marshals
NORMAN, Okla.- The annual Christmas parade is a constant in Norman. Running from Norman High School to Crawford Avenue downtown, thousands of Normanites line Main Street to watch community floats, high school bands, nonprofits, Boys and Girls Scouts and other organizations spread holiday cheer.
This year is going to be a little bit different, according to parade organizers. For the first time, at least in recent memory, the parade will be at night. Slated for Dec. 9, the parade will have a 5 p.m. start time.
That change will allow Christmas lights to pop, whether downtown or on parade entries, said Stefanie Brickman, communications manager for VisitNorman and Christmas parade committee member. Starting the parade at 5 p.m., rather than the traditional 10 a.m., will give community members an opportunity to stay downtown after the parade as well, she said.
“Although it’s been a long-standing tradition to start Saturday morning with a parade, we’re hoping moving it a little later in the day will allow people to sleep in and then spend a larger portion of the day downtown,” Brickman said. “Late lunch, dinner, afternoon hot chocolate, some shopping, you name it. The shift to an evening parade should allow floats to be more creative with their displays, as well.”
This year’s grand marshal will be Ed Copelin, a longtime parade organizer, member of several community organizations such as Norman Rotary Club and owner of several local businesses, including Kidoodles Toy Zone. Copelin will step down from his position on the Christmas parade committee after this year.
“As always, the parade is for the kids,” Copelin said. “The parade always tends to get people in the mood for Christmas. The evening version will be an enhancement because of the lights, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Copelin said he’s honored to serve as grand marshal, now in the company of individuals such as George and Barbara Henderson, Barry and Becky Switzer, and Andy and Karen Rieger.
“We’ve had some great folks serve as marshal. It’s truly an honor,” he said. “It’s been fun to be part of the parade these last few years. I think it’s a community-building event. Folks get out and see one another and share the spirit. It’s a meaningful event; residents seem to truly enjoy the parade.”
Every year, the parade takes extensive planning, but it all seems to go off without a hitch, thanks to dedicated annual volunteers, Copelin said.
“The neat thing about the parade through the years is the consistent volunteers,” he said. “They know their job and they do it. It has made the organization and planning a much easier task, and I appreciate their efforts.”
Individuals and organizations can now register for the parade and donate online.
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