It’s time for the Blount County Jaycees Christmas Parade.
“The theme for the parade is ‘The Reason for the Season’ and let’s hope that the season cooperates with us on Saturday allowing us the opportunity to avoid any wet precipitation,” said Keenan Sudderth, project co-chairman.
There are more than 130 entries in the parade including walking groups, dignitaries, floats, bands, old cars, new cars and small vehicles.
The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. beginning at McDonald’s at New Midland Plaza. It will go through New Midland Plaza then turn right onto Calderwood Avenue (North Cusick Street in Maryville). At the top of the hill (downtown Maryville), it will turn right onto West Broadway Avenue, and right onto West Lamar Alexander Parkway, ending before New Providence Presbyterian Church. The Jaycees anticipate more than 30,000 spectators will watch the parade travel through Maryville and Alcoa.
The Jaycees have selected Paul Bales, retired chairman of the Empty Pantry Fund, to serve as the grand marshal of the Christmas Parade. Bales was a member of the Jaycees and also an employee of The Daily Times when he initially began serving as the chairman of the Empty Pantry Fund. His served the fund for more than five decades before retiring in 2011. However, the organization continues to consider Bales as the chairman of the Empty Pantry Fund, officials said.
“Paul will always be known as the chairman of the Empty Pantry Fund in honor of his continued service and devotion to this community project,” explained Lon Fox, president of the Empty Pantry Fund. Bales is still eager to make an appearance at each packing night, and even goes to deliver baskets with fellow friends.
Another tradition as familiar to Blount County spectators as the floats and Santa Claus will continue — sheet collections for the Empty Pantry Fund will go on this year in honor of Bales.
“Paul always said that any and all donations were important. Pennies turn to nickels, nickels to dimes, dimes to quarters and quarters to dollars. In the end, it all adds up to buying food for the baskets,” Fox said. Bales said he looks forward to greeting folks this Saturday at the parade.
All entries should begin lining up at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Joule Street or Rankin Road. Parents dropping off children should do so no later than 9:30 a.m. at the four-way stop at Joule Street and Rankin Road, Carrel Street beside the old Alcoa Police Department, or the Rankin/Bessemer intersection.
Estimated placement of entries numbered 1-15 will be in East Tennessee Medical Group parking lots located on Joule Street entrance, 16-43 will be parked on the right side of Joule Street, 44–78 will be on the right side of Rankin Road starting at the entrance of East Tennessee Medical Group; 62 Combined Bands: Maryville and Alcoa will meet in the East Tennessee Medical Group parking lot on Joule Street side; 79-97 will line up on the left side of Joule Street; and 90-129 will line up on the left side of Rankin Road (the old AUB parking lot will hold the horse trucks).
Only the dignitaries and Jaycee official vehicles will be allowed to park in the East Tennessee Medical Building parking lot. The only vehicles allowed on the lineup side of Joule Street and Rankin Road are entries that are numbered to be on those particular roads. Entries on Joule Street should enter from Hall Road turning onto Joule Street (south end of Walgreens). Entries numbered to be on Rankin Road can only enter Rankin from Bessemer Street (some parking is available at the intersection of Rankin/Bessemer).
Jaycee officials encourage groups to meet at a location close to Rankin or Joule streets, put all of the children on the float, make final preparations and then leave with caution to the lineup area. One parking lot close to the lineup area is located on Bessemer across from the old Alcoa City Municipal Building lot.
Anyone who is trying to access Knoxville Pediatric Association or East Tennessee Medical Group will enter onto Joule Street from Hall Road (next to Walgreens) proceed to the four-way stop, turn left or right to enter the appropriate facility. Everyone will exit via Rankin Road to Lincoln Road. It is important to note that no other vehicles other than the vehicles on the parade lineup will be allowed on the roadways. All materials, supplies, etc., must be carried or driven in on vehicles in the parade before their arrival at their marked locations.
Early weather reports indicate partly cloudy weather with the temperature in the low 40s to start off the morning, the reason for the change in starting time to 10:30 a.m. However, occasional rain or a wintry mix is a possibility for Saturday. Parade organizers have spoken to the National Weather Service in Morristown to confirm that the bulk of rainy weather will begin after 1 p.m. Some entries may consider alternative vehicles to drive in the parade in the event of scattered rain throughout the morning. In the event of forecasted bad weather at the start time of the parade, the decision concerning a time change will be made by 9 p.m. today.
“Parade participants and spectators can text 81010 with the message @XMAS PRADE to receive remind texts, follow Blount County Jaycees on Facebook, or listen to WGAP/WKVL radio to find out weather-related details concerning the possible rain plans,” a press release states.
Empty Pantry Sheet Carriers
Once again, representatives of the Jaycees and Alcoa Jayteens (Junior Jaycees) will be carrying sheets along the parade route to collect monetary donations for Empty Pantry Fund. During the past, the sheet carriers have collected well over $21,000 dollars from spectators at the parade.
“It is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to have an impact on someone’s life during Christmas, because no one deserves to go hungry for Christmas,” Fox said.
The Jaycees will recognize the following categories: Most Thematic, Most Creative, Best Vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, four-wheeler, etc.), Best Youth Organization, Best Religious, and Best Business entries. Tennessee Jaycee guests will judge all entries before the start of the parade.
Each winner will receive a Christmas ornament and an invitation to a reception on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Alcoa Middle School (formerly Alcoa High School). At the reception, the Jaycees will recognize the top three Overall Entries in the parade; each one will receive an additional plaque and a free entry into the 2019 Jaycees Christmas Parade. Winners will receive a certificate/invitation to the awards reception at the parade.
1. Alcoa and Maryville police officers
2. Officer Moats Foundation cruiser
3. Blount County Fire Color Guard
4. Jaycee Christmas Parade banner
5. Grand Marshal, Paul Bales, Empty Pantry Fund
6. The Daily Times
7. Empty Pantry Fund donation sheet collection
8. State Rep. Bob Ramsey
9. Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell
10. Vice Mayor of Alcoa Clint Abbott
11. Mayor of Maryville Tom Taylor and Vice Mayor Andy White
12. Blount County Property Assessor Tim Helton and state Rep. Jerome Moon
13. Gaye Hasty, Blount County clerk
14. Blount County Jaycee President Maxanna Young
15. Ryan Henry, 2019 Tennessee State president
16. Bristol & Bragg Jewelers
17. Ruby Tuesday
18. American Foundation & Basement Repairs — Truck
19. American Foundation & Basement Repairs
20. American Foundation & Basement Repairs
21. Heritage Indians cheerleaders
22. Artistic Pops
23. Lil Dee Tails
24. Q 100.3
25. Blount County highway superintendent
26. Blount County Highway Department
27. Blount County Mutual Insurance Co.
28. PGBC Kidz Town — Piney Grove Baptist Church
29. Middlesettlements Elementary cheerleaders
30. Smoky Mountain Fundraising
31. WGAP radio
32. Kingdom Kustom Garage
33. Commercial Cutting Equipment
34. Blount County Rescue Squad
35. American Red Cross of East Tennessee
36. American Red Cross of East Tennessee
37. Alcoa Alloys football team
38. Alcoa Pee Wee cheerleaders
39. Alcoa Grasshopper cheerleaders
40. Alcoa Midget cheerleaders
41. Alcoa Police Department with DUI education trailer
42. Alcoa football team
43. Alcoa football team (2)
44. My hometown Christmas — Aaron Kirby Band
45. J.J. Tyson & friends
46. Kent and Ashlyn Davis 1975 Nova
47. Maryville Storm Cooperstown Dreams
48. Blount County Iron & Metal Recycling
49. Maple Grove Baptist Church
50. The Dwight Price Group
51. The Soup Kitchen express food truck
52. Artistic Dance Unlimited walking group
53. Artistic Dance Unlimited float
54. Blount County Fire
55. Blount County Fire
56. Blount County Fire
57. Girl Scouts celebrating Christmas Around the World
58. Best WHO-LIDAY Ever! — Joe Navratil Electric
59. Maryville Downtown Association
60. It’s a Blue Christmas — Blount County Democrat Party walking group
61. It’s a Blue Christmas — Blount County Democrat Party car
62. Maryville and Alcoa high schools combined bands
63. Knoxville Poop 911
64. Golden Joy Photography & Design
65. Sheer Magic — McMillan Family
66. Roll Arena Party Zone
67. Don Larson’s antique truck
68. The Blount County Humane Society
69. Best Bro Pulling Team
70. Best Bro Pulling Team
71. Best Bro Pulling Team
72. Best Bro Pulling Team
73. Best Bro Pulling Team
74. Best Bro Pulling Team
75. Best Bro Pulling Team
76. Best Bro Pulling Team
77. Best Bro Pulling Team
78. Best Bro Pulling Team
79. William Blount Dance Team truck
80. William Blount Dance Team walking group
81. Peppermint Speedy — AA-Air Company
82. The Golden Age 1942 float
83. Raising A Voice
84. Don Larson’s antique truck
85. Go Teez
86. Faith Promise Church walking group
87. Faith Promise Church float
88. East Tennessee Wanders — president’s car
89. East Tennessee Wanderers — walking group
90. Fiddies 4 Life
91. Fiddies 4 Life
92. Fiddies 4 Life
93. Maryville Wildcats fastpitch
94. Maryville College float
95. Maryville College walking group
96. Thunder fastpitch softball
97. Fowlers Furniture
98. Love Makes The World Go Round — Girl Scout Troop 20709
100. Credit Central
101. Petree Arbor Lawn & Landscape
102. Jack Smelcer’s 1951 Chevy
103. Alcoa Fire
104. Cash Express LLC
105. 95.7 Duke FM
106. East Tennessee Rowing Organization
107. Scott Evers — RLR Electric
108. Cub Scouts Pack 81
109. AMR Blount County EMS
110. Let’s Go Caroling with William Blount Shooting Team
111. Christmas Vacation Tribute Truckster
112. Christmas Vacation Tribute Tiny Truckster
113. Maryville Fire
114. Cutting Records
115. James Newman — InspectTN Home Inspections
116. Computer Catering
117. GW Towing & Recovery, LLC 2017 Ford F650 Rollback
118. Bowhunters Pro Shop
119. RV’s for Less in 1965 VW Beetle
120. Mike and Kayla Ogle
121. Two Step Revolution & Volunteer Vaulting Club — horse
122. Two Step Revolution car
123. Accu-Coat Spray Products LLC in 2017 Ram 250 crew cab
124. Brewer & Pledge family in Pap’s ‘55 Chevy
125. 24/7 Bonding LLC
126. Mane Support — Merry Hoofmas
127. ETCW Wrestling
128. Primary Players Children’s Theatre Group
129. Kim-Z Entertainment
130. Jayteens Float with Whitehead Wrecker Service
131. Santa Claus with Ole Ben Franklin Motors