MH Christmas tree lighting, parade set for Friday

When this week comes to a close, the Christmas season will get underway in Mountain Home. The annual Myrtle Wood Chamberlain Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday evening at 5:30 at the Baxter County Courthouse Square, and the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade will begin a half hour later.

Mistress of ceremonies Brenda Spencer says this year's tree lighting will have a patriotic theme honoring veterans of the United States' military branches.

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The featured speaker will be former First Security Bank President and military veteran Larry Nelson as he delivers the Christmas message. The ceremony will also feature performances from the Mountain Home High School brass ensemble and various singers, and the Christmas Prayer will be delivered by Calvary Temple Assembly of God Pastor Kyle Tardiff. The tree lighting ceremony will be broadcast live on KTLO-FM 97.9 and streaming at ktlo.com.

The Chamber's annual Christmas Parade will begin at 6:00 p.m., and this year's theme will be "Hometown Holiday."

This year's parade includes a few changes. A registration form is required for all parade participants. Chamber members can enter the parade for free, but non-members will pay an entry fee of $25.

Parade entries will line up between 4:30 and 6:00. They will enter off Highway 178 and turn onto Bucher Drive. Hospital Drive will need to stay clear in case of medical emergencies.

Floats will line up at the corner of Burnett and Buttercup, and they will be judged during that time. Floats must be marked for judging, preferably on both sides.

Fire trucks and emergency vehicles will line up on Medical Plaza. All cars, tractors and other vehicles will assemble at the corner of Burnett and Beard Street. Car clubs including V-dubbers, T-buckets and others can assemble in the parking lot of Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Marching bands and walkers will line up in the parking lot of First Security Bank at Highway 5 North and Hospital Drive. Horses will enter from Highway 178 and wait in the lot on Buttercup across from Cardiovascular Associates.

The Chamber requests being informed by entries looking to play music. Christmas music will be required.

Candy should not be thrown from vehicles, but it can be handed out to the side of the parade route by walking adults only. In addition, no Santa Claus is allowed other than the one at the end of the parade.

In addition, the Chamber is promoting "Shop Local" this season. Retail members can promote their businesses by sponoring the Shop Local bags handed out by Chamber ambassadors at the front of the parade. Bags will contain cards listing the sponsors and their contact information, and they'll also have the option to place a brochure, flier, small promotional item or coupon in the bag. Sponsorships cost $25, and the deadline to register is Tuesday.

For more information, contact Angela Broome at 870-425-5111.

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