HES Christmas Parade Draws Thousands
HES Christmas Parade Draws Thousands;
People’s Choice Award And Decoration Winners Named;
Dates Announced For 2017 Holiday Celebration
Hopkinsville’s return to nighttime Christmas festivities on Saturday (Dec. 10th) has been deemed a resounding success by community officials and event organizers. The Pennyrile Polar Express, Dickens Alley, and Holiday Market all enjoyed terrific attendance on Saturday, capped by the thousands that lined Main Street for the Hopkinsville Electric System’s Christmas Parade, the community’s first night parade in decades.
The groups promoting the day’s events have already agreed for the same format for 2017 with the 2nd Annual Hopkinsville Holiday Celebration slated for Saturday, December 9.
Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation, Pennyroyal Arts Council, Museums of Hopkinsville & Christian County, and Downtown Renaissance officials all shared their appreciation of the community reaction and support.
“The public feedback is that this was the best Christmas Parade in recent history,” said Tab Brockman, Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “The lighted floats were all spectacular and the crowds totally overflowed downtown for all the events. The smiles on the faces of everyone at the parade were evidence of how much everyone enjoyed the parade and entire day of events, despite the seasonable cold weather.”
Mayor Carter Hendricks was also understandably pleased with the holiday celebration.
“The HES Christmas Parade, and the entire Hopkinsville Holiday Celebration, lit up our downtown with great energy. It was wonderful to see thousands downtown Saturday celebrating the holiday season. These are the types of moments when we get to celebrate community and family together. It’s great to again see our various teams working together to create special events that remind us all of what a great city we have in Hopkinsville.”
Grand Marshal County Judge Executive Steve Tribble was also amazed.
“This was the biggest crowd that I can recall and I’ve been attending Hopkinsville parades for many years,” Tribble said. “It was an honor to be recognized as Grand Marshal for our first night parade in a very long time.”
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The Heritage Bank float was announced today as the winner of the WHVO/WKDZ “People’s Choice Award” for Saturday’s parade. Parade attendees were encouraged to text their choice of favorite float during the parade with that winner receiving a $500 cash prize.
All of the floats were judged before the parade with the Midwest Federal Credit Union entry named the HES Grand Champion honoree and recipient of the $1,000 prize with the award. The KD Farms float was named runner-up and received $750. The third-place award went to “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season,” sponsored by the Christian County Baptist Association.
The parade featured 95 total units and a record 22 floats.
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Hopkinsville’s Holiday Celebration started with the Holiday Market on Founders Square from 10 in the morning through the Community Christmas Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. The Inaugural Dickens Alley on 6th Street was also hugely popular during the noon-5 p.m. run. The Pennyrile Polar Express returned again and attracted the normal large crowd from 3-5 p.m.
“The L&N Depot was bursting at the seams with families listening to The Polar Express story from Santa and Mrs. Claus! We had over 500 for the movie at The Alhambra with Santa introducing the film and visiting with kids for pictures after the movie. Dickens Alley had nearly 600 throughout the day,” said Margaret Prim, Pennyroyal Arts Council Executive Director.
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The winners of the Hopkinsville Holiday Decoration Contest were also announced Saturday night during to the Tree Lighting event after the parade. The annual contest is sponsored by the Hopkinsville Beautification Commission in an effort to encourage community pride and holiday spirit. Awards were judged on decorations, creativity, lighting and theme with winners named in each city ward and one business category.
The Commercial Business winner is Chick-fil-A on Fort Campbell Boulevard.
Ward 1 winner is Linda White, 1506 E. 1st St. Ward 2 winner is John Collins at 926 Owen Drive. Ward 3 winners are Roger and Susie Simmoneau of 203 Oriole Drive. Ward 4 winners are Lisa and Kevin Brasher of 802 Bluebird Court. Ward 5 winner is Linda Blankenship at 1055 Pyle Lane. Ward 6 winners are Troy and Tammy Moore at 319 Tremont Drive.
Ward 7 winners are Larry and Sharon Walston at 366 Martin Place. Ward 8 winners are Lori Clark & Parrish Sutton of 202 Country Club Lane. Ward 9 winners are John and Annie Mahre of 153 Alumni Avenue. Ward 10 winners are Jarron Bolton and Jessica Parker of 138 Latham Avenue. Ward 11 winner are Kevin and Keri Williams of 216 Benjamin Lane. Ward 12 winner is Robert Martin of 2011 South Main Street.
The Beautification Commission also joined with the Hopkinsville Transit Authority for bus tours of the winning homes on Saturday night after the tree lighting. All three busses were sold out for the tours, according to Nikki Radford, Administrative Coordinator for the City of Hopkinsville.
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Hopkinsville Electric System has also already confirmed renewal of the utility company’s nighttime parade sponsorship for 2017.“HES and our employees were very proud to be the title sponsor of this year’s Hopkinsville Christmas Parade. The inaugural night parade was a great event that lifted the spirits of our community and helped it shine in the holiday lights downtown. We’re committed and looking forward to our role as title sponsor again in 2017 for an even bigger and better parade,” said Austin Carroll, HES General Manager.