The parade will begin at the intersection of Main Street and Hull Road at 6 p.m. on Thursday and will proceed down Main Street, turn right onto Bryan Road and end at the Sumiton Community Center.
The traditional parade route included Sharon Boulevard on the Dora side of the highway, but concerns about stopping traffic on Highway 78 and protecting the participants forced the change.
“The parade route was changed because of concerns of safety and liability with crossing the 78 Highway,” Chee-Vee Whitfield, secretary of the East Walker Chamber of Commerce, said. “Our tentative plans are to have it in Sumiton this year, and then rotate to the Dora side next year.”
Despite the altered route, many local groups and businesses will be participating and the organizers are expecting a large turnout for the event.
“We have varied entries,” Whitfield said. “We have several of our fire departments, cub scouts, girl scouts and boy scouts, several different businesses and Equines Assisting Special Individuals (EASI). We have antique vehicles and horse riders. The Dora High School marching band will be in the parade, as well as Bevill State Community College. And, Santa Claus has made special arrangements with the South Pole to be there.”
The Sumiton Veteran’s Board will be on hand to provide coffee, hot chocolate and cookies at the Sumiton Community Center as the parade winds down.
In case of inclement weather the parade will be held at the same time on Friday.