'Angels' theme of county Christmas parade

Lisa Baldwin, coordinator of the Saline County Christmas Parade, said the theme of the 2012 event is "simple but glorious": That theme is "Angels."
The annual event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, iin Downtown Benton.
Group organizers are hoping that many of the entries will capture "a bright and heavenly theme," Baldwin said.
Individuals and organizations wishing to participate in the parade may pick up registration forms at the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce, Books and Baubles and Paradise Pets, all located in Downtown Benton.
Baldwin said a $10 registration fee is required to cover parade expenses. The fees should accompany all forms, she said.
County emergency response entries are excluded from the fee, she said.
Parade rules are included with the form, Baldwin said. "Guidelines must be followed especially for entries competing for Best of Show," she said.
She noted that out-of-town judges will select first-, second- and third-place finishers, based on "who best captures the theme."
"All entries are encouraged to be well-lighted," Baldwin said. "Lighting makes the entries more visible and helps the judges and media identify the groups," she said. "For that reason, group signs should be especially visible.
"Judges will be looking for enthusiasm, creativity and boldness in the design of the floats," she added.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be the "grand finale of the parade and will be escorted by Benton firefighters in Molly, the department's restored 1930 fire truck."
"For that reason, no one is allowed to portray the couple," she said. "The Clauses will get off the fire truck on Main Street by the Saline County Courthouse. They will greet children in the gazebo immediately after the parade concludes."
Completed registration forms may be returned to Paradise Pets on North Market Street in Downtown Benton. Deadline is Dec. 1.
Additional information about the parade is available from Baldwin at 551-1100.