Mattinglys to lead annual Christmas parade

Josh Briggs
Managing Editor

The Christmas season is nearly here and the Downtown Benton Business Owners Association is gearing up for its annual holiday parade.

This year's event will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 4, and will travel the usual route through Downtown Benton, beginning at C.W. Lewis Stadium and ending on Main Street near the Saline County Courthouse gazebo.

This year's theme is "Peace On Earth & Good Will To All," according to Wanda Posey, organizer.

Mayor David Mattingly and first lady Nancy Mattingly will serve as grand marshals.

“My wife and I are honored to have been asked to serve as the grand marshals for the annual Christmas parade in Downtown Benton," Mattingly said. "The beautiful lights on the courthouse lawn are a major attraction in bringing many visitors to our downtown area. The day of the parade officially kicks off the Christmas season in our community and gives us another reason to be Benton proud.”

Entry fee for parade entries is $10.

Forms and fees are to be turned in by Nov. 30. These can be filled out and submitted at Paradise Pets, Posey's Service, or the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce. Forms also may be submitted via mail to Downtown Benton Inc., 116 N. Market St. Benton, AR 72015.
No entries may depict Santa Claus nor Mrs. Claus as there already is a float featuring the special couple in the parade.

Entry categories include: animal, float, band and vehicle. Entry fee is $10 for an individual or a group, according to Posey.
Participants are asked to boldly display the name of a group or organization so judges can easily identify the entry. All entries are to have some kind of lights, as the parade will take place at night, coinciding with the official lighting of the courthouse.

A $100 Best In Show prize will be awarded to the overall winning entry. First, second and third places will be awarded in float, wheeled vehicle and band categories
Candy may be handed out to spectators but not thrown, according to Posey.

Participants are asked to arrive at the stadium parking lot no later than 5:30 p.m.