The annual Christmas Parade has been an Oxford tradition for decades.
Forty years ago, the Junior Chamber of Commerce organized the parade until the organization itself dissolved. The members then joined the Oxford Lions Club and took on the project from there. So, on Monday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m., the parade will depart the Midtown Shopping Center on North Lamar, cruise around the Square to University Avenue, and hang a right toward campus. The parade ends at the intersection at Old Taylor Road.
The spectacular floats that participants put together each year are always elaborate, creative and fun. The parade is a competition, the winner being the creator of the best looking float. The Lions Club judges each float prior to the start of the parade.
“I rode in the parade every year starting in elementary school,” HottyToddy.com managing editor Kate Sinervo remarked. “If I wasn’t riding with my church youth group, I was riding for my dad’s motorcycle shop. We always participated. It was a blast.”
Each year, floats range from children’s choirs to the Pride of the South marching band to local businesses. Santa Claus himself always rides the final flow to announce the official start to the Christmas season.
“The Parade requires a lot of preparation by everyone involved,” Lions Club Special Events Assistant Drew Windham said. “The Lions Club helps orchestrate the Parade, the Oxford Police Department has to barricade traffic and manage all crowd control, the participants spend lots of time building and decorating their parade entries, and there are many other aspects to parade preparation.”
Anyone is welcome to enter a float in the parade, however only those who submit an application will be judged in the competition. Applications to enter the competition can be picked up at and returned to the Chamber of Commerce (299 West Jackson Avenue).
For those not participating in the parade, line up along North Lamar, around the West side of the Square, and down University Avenue toward campus. Sinervo said her family, when not riding a float, always huddles into the back of an SUV, heat on and tailgate up.
“It’s usually freezing the night of the Christmas parade, but that doesn’t matter,” Sinervo said. “This has been my favorite hometown tradition since I was a little girl.”
– Elizabeth Ervin is a student in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media