Deport Parade 4

Prairiland High School students wave and throw candy during the Deport Christmas Parade in December 2018.

DEPORT — Families are buying Christmas trees, holiday music is playing on the radio, and festive lights adorn the streets — all hallmarks of the winter season. For several decades, there’s been another holiday tradition: the Deport Christmas Parade.

“This parade — which features traditional floats, equestrians, music, cars and more — is a tradition in Deport,” Mayor John Mark Francis said. “I think we’ve been doing it since around the 1950s. It’s in our lifeblood.”

This year, Deport’s annual holiday tradition is scheduled for 4 p.m. Dec. 14. Line-up for participating groups and organizations will take place at 3:30 p.m. at the park near First Baptist Church.

The parade will follow a route that begins on Monroe Street, turns on Main Street, then onto Pecan before connecting back to Main Street and will loop twice, Francis said.

Groups have until Dec. 13 to register, and can do so by calling Deport City Hall at 903-652-3875 or by emailing secretary@cityofdeport.org. There is no entry fee to register, Francis added.

Following the parade, children can have their pictures taken with Santa and food will be offered at First Baptist Church.

In addition to the parade, Deport will also host its annual contest to determine the best decorated house, with winners receiving Walmart gift cards.

“It’s a great time, and kids love it,” Francis said. “The parade is one of the best traditions we have and I’m excited for it.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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