CAIRO — As many as 10,000 people are expected at this year’s Cairo Christmas Parade, which will take place Thursday, Dec. 5.
Beginning at 7 p.m., a total of 114 floats, marching bands, walking groups and others will wind their way down Broad Street starting at the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce and ending at First United Methodist Church. Traffic along Broad Street and near the Chamber will be blocked off beginning at around 6 p.m.
This year’s parade will feature a circus theme titled “Christmas Under the Big Top,” which was selected in September.
Part of the reason why the theme was chosen was to allow parade participants to be creative without being too restrictive.
“We love seeing people’s creativity and originality and their own take on the theme,” said Courtney Salapa King, assistant Chamber director. “It’s always fun to see what people come up with.”
Last year’s “Christmas in Paradise” theme featured many different variations among parade participants. Eastside School created a candy-themed float in their interpretation of what a child would perceive as a paradise.
For what Chamber officials believe may be a first in the event’s 72-year history, this year’s parade will feature a grand marshal — Cairo resident Buster Robinson. Last year Robinson marched with a running group and received praise for his ability to excite parade watchers.
“He did such a great job of livening up the crowd and getting people excited, so we figured we would put him at the front this year,” King said.
In keeping with this year’s theme, Robinson will lead the parade dressed as a circus ringmaster.
Temperatures the night of the parade are expected to be low, and attendees are encouraged to dress warmly. Parade watchers are also asked to remain on the sidewalk for the duration of the procession.
Attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs and pets as they watch the parade.
Parking will be available in the Broad Street business parking lots. Annex parking will be available behind Roddenbery Memorial Library and the Grady County Courthouse.