By: Zach Tracy
With the leaves changing color and the temperature beginning to drop, citizens of Oskaloosa look to the annual Main Street Christmas Parade to get them and their families into the holiday spirit. Held on December 1 at 7 PM in downtown Oskaloosa. This year’s parade will feature up to 70 floats and is free to the public.
Although the parade is floating in on its 29th year, the parade will have a different look due to the new lights put on the buildings facing the square. The money for these lights were raised by Oskaloosa Main Street who held a “Christmas in July” event on July 16 that raised money by hosting live music on the square and store specials throughout Oskaloosa. Officials hope that this new look will bring a surge in attendance and make the event more special.
Voted the number one holiday event in the state by Main Street Iowa, spectators this year will enjoy mild weather for this time of the season. Surprisingly, poor winter weather has never caused cancellation of the event, but rather has only added to the winter wonderland that guests love to see.
William Penn University will once again feature a float this year built by TEECA (Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association). The float will be led by Penn’s Student Government Association along with sports teams, clubs and other organizations of the university.
Carly Schmalz the president of SGA said, “I’m looking forward to seeing the different groups at William Penn come together as a whole while participating in the parade.”
The timing of the parade will be altered slightly because of a route change with the construction near the fire station, but will still aim to be a half hour to an hour long. Time has never been an issue for Karen Hafner when it comes to directing the parade, because she’s been doing it for 11 years. “It’s a family thing that’s shared throughout the community in Oskaloosa,” she said. The parade has been under her direction for more than a decade and has slowly made changes that have helped the parade for the better. One of those changes will be the addition of the lights this year.
She hopes that the experience can be a memorable one for everyone who attends. The overall attraction of the parade helps bring out Oskaloosa’s community pride and the seasonal spirit it brings to families.
With the help of Penn students, this year is bound to be something very special. So come out December 1 to support the community and university to get in the Holiday Spirit!