By Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Get your Christmas list ready. Santa Claus is coming to town.
He’s riding a sleigh down Main Street during Norman’s annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, and with a parade theme like “What I Want for Christmas,” he’ll be sure to take gift requests.
Ed Copelin, parade committee chair, said the parade is a family friendly event that is sure to please the young and the young at heart.
“The parade, in my mind, is for the kiddos,” he said. “We have Santa, and in the spirit of the Christmas season, I think it’s important for the kiddos to see the excitement created in the parade. Hopefully it’s a good experience for all the kiddos and parents, too.”
With well more than 75 entries — and each entry potentially having several cars, floats or banners — Copelin said the parade will likely last an hour to an hour and a half.
The parade is starting near Norman High School and will then move west down Main Street. Copelin said the Express Clydesdales will make a special lead for the floats along the route.
The Sooner Theatre will be one of the many floats trailing behind the horses. Nancy Coggins, Sooner Theatre development and marketing director, said the theater will have 34 dancers on the street, with another 20 students on the float, as they spread holiday cheer with Christmas-themed song and dance.
Coggins said participating in the annual parade is a way for the theater to say thanks to the community for all their support.
“I just think it’s a really great way for families to come out and get into the holiday spirit,” said Coggins, about the parade. “For us, there’s nothing better than a parade. Singing and dancing, and you get to see the creative talents of so many people. It’s such a community event, and you don’t get that everywhere. That’s what’s so special about Norman — we have so much community feeling. And the parade is just an example of that.”
The float entries will be judged in the following categories: best overall entry, most unique entry, best entry featuring children, best entry featuring dance/movement, best use of theme and best entry featuring music. Copelin said winners will receive a medallion.
Barry Switzer, former Oklahoma Sooner and Dallas Cowboy football coach, is serving as the parade’s grand marshal. Switzer will ride in style alongside his wife, Becky.
Copelin said the parade committee selected Switzer because he is popular in the Norman community and “it was thought they would be very appropriate to lead the parade.”
Switzer said he is excited to participate, and is hoping for beautiful weather and a good turnout.
“Becky and I have been asked to do this, and we look forward to doing it,” Switzer said. “It’s an honor to be considered someone that they’d choose to represent the city.”
Before the parade begins, the Norman Kiwanis Club is hosting its 60th annual Pancake Breakfast. The all-you-can-eat breakfast is being served 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Norman High School Commons. Tickets are $6 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.
Copelin said the breakfast, combined with photos with Santa after the parade at Kidoodles Toy Zone, is a perfect way to make a day of the festivities.
This year’s parade sponsors include: Norman Knight’s of Colombus; First American Bank; BancFirst; Gray, Blodgett & Company PLLC; Thompson Pool LLC; Harold Heiple, Attorney at Law; Don Cies Real Estate Inc.; Republic Bank & Trust and OEC.
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