CHRISMAN – The Christmas season officially arrives Wednesday, Dec. 5, when the community celebrates Christmas in Chrisman.
Sponsored by the Chrisman Area Community Club with a motto of All Hearts Come Home for Christmas, the event is a continually evolving and expanding festival
Everything starts at 4:30 p.m. with horse-drawn carriage rides around the town square, starting in front of the American Legion Post. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and the cost is a free-will donation. The carriage rides continue until 7 p.m.
Few things are better than a hot bowl of chili to fortify visitors for being out in the cold to explore the lighted decorations in the city park and to watch the illuminated parade. The community club is serving a chili and hot dog supper in the Legion from 5 to 7 p.m., with a free-will donation being the cost of the meal.
Horizon Health has announced the Chrisman Clinic on the square is a drop off point for donated toys or cash to help Christmas for Kids. Clinic staff will accept the donations from 5-7 p.m.
The illuminated parade is the main event for the evening. Set for 7 p.m. the parade starts near Pleasant Meadows Senior Living so residents of the facility can enjoy watching it pass, the parade follows Washington Avenue and south on Illinois Street before going around the north, east and south sides of the square.
“It will be a big parade like last year,” said Jeff Voigt.
Dan Moore added four marching bands have committed to participating in the parade – Chrisman High School, Paris High School, Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School and Crestwood Junior High School.
“We have invited more, but we just haven’t heard from them yet,” said Moore.
In addition to the marching bands, 21 professional lighted floats by Shirleys Custom Lights and Signs are part of the parade. Moore said these are sponsored by businesses and organizations in the community.
“Other people put lights on their trucks, like the fire departments, or golf carts to participate in the parade,” said Moore.
The Chrisman parade usually has around 70 units, and Moore said it appears a bigger parade is possible this year.
“I’ve had several people call me,” he said.
Holiday decorations around the square and in the city park are expanding. Last year the committee responsible for park decorations made a big push to have churches, clubs, businesses or other organizations take responsibility for certain areas of the park. The effort was a success and installing the stationary displays and putting up lights on the gazebo for 2018 started the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Expanded capacity means the square can accommodate more displays for this year.
“We’ve got a bunch of nice outlets the city put in for us,” said Moore.