By Alyssa Schnugg
It looks as if the rain will break long enough Friday evening for the Oxford Christmas Parade to take place after being delayed five days due to the weather.
According to the National Weather Service, there is a 40 percent of rain Friday but showers are expected to end around noon, leaving the 6:30 p.m. start time for the parade cloudy but dry.
The parade is set to start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. This year’s theme is “A Christmas Story.”
While Oxonians and Lafayette Countians are eagerly awaiting the annual parade, so are the families, groups and individuals who have worked hard on their floats.
One such group is the students at Oxford Dyslexia who have created a “Dog Man”-themed float.
“Dog Man” is a book series written by Dav Pikey targeted for children with dyslexia or ADHD about a crime-biting canine in a big city.
Danielle Snyder, the owner of Oxford Dyslexia, said her 15 students have done most of the work on the float.
“We’ve got giant cardboard boxes and we are making all of the popular buildings from the books that any child who has read ‘Dogman’ would know these buildings,” Snyder said.
Snyder said when she first started attempting to draw the design of the float, she realized it needed to be done through the eyes of a child.
“Most big projects are usually designed and constructed by parents, who are usually doing all the work and the kids just kind of watch,” she said. “I think this float has been special because it’s something they created and something they can truly be proud of.”
This will be the fifth year Snyder and her students have entered the Christmas parade.
“It is the best event of the year and my students love pouring their time, creativity and hard work into the float.”
Local businessman Hudson Chadwick said he knew he wanted to build a float for this year’s parade but there was just one problem – he had never seen “A Christmas Story.”
“So I sat down and watched the movie with my wife — and the scene that stuck out was the scene with Santa on the top of the mountain in the mall. Ralphie tells Santa what he wants for Christmas and Santa kicks him down the slide. I was like, ‘Oh I can recreate that.’”
Along with owning restaurants, Chadwick is also an electrical contractor and even worked as the assistant technical director at the Gertrude Ford Center for several years. His friend, Austin Wallace is also a contractor. The two have joined forces to create a fully-automative float, capturing Chadwick’s favorite scene in the movie.
“It’s unlike anything I’ve seen in the Christmas parade before,” Chadwick said. “We took a lot of inspiration from some of the parades that you’ll see around the country. It has lights and animatronics and movement and just all kinds of different fun things.”
Watch a sneak peek of Chadwick’s float below.