Marion changes holiday plans for new season


Marion city workers were busy Friday checking the Christmas lights that outline the top of downtown businesses. The Chamber of Commerce is planning a variety of holiday events starting later this month.

Some people hope Santa doesn?t get confused with all the scheduled changes happening in Marion this holiday season.

?We are trying some new and different things,? said Margo Yates, Chamber of Commerce executive secretary.

For the past three years, Yates said, the Chamber has sponsored a Christmas parade, but this will be the first year the parade will be in December rather than November.

Instead of having the parade Friday, Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving, the Chamber has moved it to Sunday, Dec. 7.

Downtown stores and other retailers have adjusted their hours to fit with the parade activities. Stores will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 with the parade beginning at 2 p.m.

Yates said a lot of people told her they were unable to go to the parade because of being out of town for the Thanks?giving weekend.

?We are hoping the date change will make it possible for more people to attend the parade and we will have more parade participation,? she said.

Another change, Yates said, is the parade route.

This year?s parade will line up at the old Phillips 66 filling station (Main and Thorp streets). The parade will then travel east to west to the end of Main and from Main Street to Walnut.

For the past two years, the parade traveled west to east, she said.

Yates could not give an exact number of entries, but she did say the parade has attracted a lot of participants.

?This is only our third year sponsoring the parade,? she said, ?but it?s been a good 20- to 30-minute parade every year.?

?Santa?s Helpers? is the parade theme. Businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to participate.

?We have had a variety of entries ranging from the Corps of Engineers (at Marion Reservoir) to youth groups, businesses and clubs,? she said.

Some entries from previous years have included the Grinch, classic cars and mini ponies.

?It?s such a fun activity and we have been really pleased with the turn out and hope it continues this year,? she said.

In addition to the parade, Marion is having a Christmas Home Tour.

The event is being sponsored by the Marion City Library and will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30.

The theme this year for the home tours is ?A Natural Noel.?

The homes featured on the tour include:

n Claude and Phyllis Landis, 2230 N. Sunrise.

n Outdoors Inn, 25 Jerome St., a bed and breakfast at Marion County Lake.

n Gerald and Jan Wiens, 407 S. Lincoln, a newly constructed log cabin.

n Brad and Jeannie Wildin, 524 S. Cedar, a recently remodeled home.

In conjunction with the tour, the library will be having a book fair on the theme ?Books are Fun.?

The display will consist of books and gifts for sale. Refresh?ments will be served.

For more information about the home tour, call 620-382-2442.

Yates said she is hoping to know what people are entering in the parade by Friday, Dec. 5.

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