Santa's Wonderland features night parade

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By Bryan Marshall

Grant County can get into the Christmas spirit early with a day of free activities Dec. 5 during Santa’s Wonderland.

The holiday event will start later than last year with Breakfast with Santa being changed to a lunch date with Old Saint Nick from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Williamstown High School Cafeteria.

After lunch, “The Little Mermaid” musical will be performed from 3:30 to 5 p.m. by the Lexington Children’s Theater in the Williamstown High School gym.

The Christmas parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Main Street in Williamstown.

“We discussed last year about maybe moving the parade in the evening because when the sun’s down, a float with a lot of lights looks very Christmasy,” said Tracie Kinman Rothwell, administrative assistant for the Grant County Chamber of Commerce. “It looks a whole lot better than it does in the daylight. So, we decided this year to go for it.”

Led by the Williamstown Band of Spirit, the parade will feature more than 30 participants, including 13 floats.

Kody Thompson, an Eastern Kentucky University freshman and Grant County native, will be the grand marshal of the parade.

Thompson, who was named 2009 Big Brother of the Year, will be joined by his little brother, 9-year-old Collin Krist, at the parade.

After the parade, children can have their photo taken with Santa at the Grant County Courthouse.

While waiting, attendees can enjoy local shops, food booths and visit Rudolph’s Roost, which will be filled with decorated wooden Rudolph displays.

A 4-foot wooden Rudolph costs $20 and first, second and third place will be chosen from the decorated entries.

Winners also will be chosen for parade floats in best in the eyes of a child, best entry by church or school and best commercial entry categories.

“It looks like a square of ice with a colored snowflake in it,” Rothwell said about the winners’ prize.

Choirs from Williamstown and Grant County HIgh Schools also will be performing onstage downtown for the festivities.

Jackie Alley, author of award-winning children’s book “Nana’s Tomato Patch” will be selling her book with a portion of the proceeds going toward next year’s Santa’s Wonderland.

“We’re hoping there is no snow and it’s a wonderful evening with lots of lights,” Rothwell said.

Sponsors for Santa’s Wonderland include Williamstown Kiwanis, Grant County Chamber of Commerce, Grant County Community Education, CETA, O’Reilly Auto Parts, City of Williamstown, Grant County Young Professionals Organization and Girl Scouts

For more information, call the Grant County Chamber of Commerce at 824-3322.