By Rick Kennedy, updated: 4:00 p.m. Monday
The Chamber of Commerce released the official 2018 Christmas parade line-up Monday afternoon, which includes:
ROTC from Hope High School, The Chamber of Commerce, Hope Family Church, Cub Scout Pack 5 in Hope, Oaklawn Estates, Procuts Lawn Equipment & Services, Hempstead County 4-H Club, Premier Central Pediatrics, Miss Blakely Herring (Little Miss Southwest District), Hope Taxi Service, Hope High School Marching Band, Junior Auxiliary, First United Methodist Church, University of Arkansas Hope Texarkana, First Baptist Church, A-State Corvette Associatio, Miss Hempstead County Bailey Yocom, Word of Grace Church
Juggernauts MC Texarkana, SERVE PRO of TEXARKANA, Rusty Relics Antique Tractors and Wagons, Texarkana Radio Center, H&R Block, Landmark Baptist Church
Rainbow of Challenges, Southwest AR Taekwondo Group, Heather Doucet State Farm, Rusty Wheels Museum, Elmo & Scooby Doo, Dancetastics, Plow Boys Car Club, Red River Wrecker Service and Special Guest: Santa Claus
The 2018 Christmas Parade sponsors are: Hope Furniture, First National Bank of Tom Bean, Pafford Medical Services, BancorpSouth, Advantage Self Storage, One/24, Rae Tays, Hope Tire & Wheel
Featured on the Chamber of Commerce float this year will be Citizens of the Year, Jerry & Twyla Pruden; Educator of the Year, UAHT Chancellor Chris Thomason, and Business of the Year, Hope Floral.
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Last year, an untimely rain sogged-out the 2017 Hope Christmas parade, which proved to be a 23-minute exercise in running for cover. Even the floats that made it down Main Street were whisked across quickly before more rains fell, and as many umbrellas were on the route as people.
But that was then, and this Monday, December 3, at 6 p.m., the early forecasts say skies should be clear and temperatures seasonal as the 2018 Christmas Parade looks to make its way through downtown Hope in a more festive and conventional manner.
“We kick off at 6 p.m. and we will line up at Oakcrest Brazzel. This year, we are excited to have 25 entries, and we have everything from a motorcycle association to antique cars to many of the church floats. We are excited to see what they do with the theme this year,” Chamber Director Beckie Moore said.
“Just an Old-Fashioned Christmas,” has been the theme of this year’s 2018 Hope Chamber Christmas events, including last Thursday’s Open House.
“We will be taking the same route. We will be going on Main toward downtown, take a left on 2nd, from 2nd, we’ll go to Elm, then Elm to Division, Division to the right on Walnut, and everything will disband at the First Baptist Church parking lot,” Moore said.
The early extended weather forecast for Monday afternoon in Hope calls for clear to partly cloudy skies with seasonal temperatures expected in the mid-40s at the scheduled start of the parade at 6 p.m. All early indicators on Sunday call for a zero-percent of precipitation on Monday evening, so rain should not be a factor at all this year.
“We are also excited that the Hope High School Band will march this year; they were not able to do so last year due to the rain. The band is outstanding. If you were not able to see them perform during the football season, come to the parade, if for no other reason, than to hear this great band,” Moore said.
Moore said that shortly after the parade will be the traditional downtown City Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, which will take place at the Hope Depot VIC on the outside stage.
Moore also said after the parade and lighting ceremony, Santa will be at Tailgaters in a special “Wish Center” to greet kids and take photographs.
“There will be Hot Coco and cookies for everyone, so a great evening is lined up Monday, December 3,” she said.