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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
The location will be the same, but the time of day will change for this year’s Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade.
The parade will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the downtown area.
The last two years, the event has been held at night and has been a lighted parade.
“One of the reasons we changed to a daytime parade is we’re going to have a Santa’s village to go with it,” said Amanda Briggs, Rantoul Chamber executive director.
It will also hopefully be warmer and will allow families to stick around to take part in the downtown activities. Briggs said the daytime event will also hopefully draw more entries.
Santa will appear in the parade, which will have the same route as in the past, and will be on hand to visit children and be available for photos at Around the Corner Resale and Antiques store (the former Hallmark store) at 119 E. Sangamon Ave.
More participants are being sought to enter the parade. Contact the chamber office to enter or for more information at 893-3323.
Several downtown businesses will be open and will participate in the activities for Santa’s Village, which will feature an arts and crafts station for children that will be set up in each participating store.
“We will have volunteers there to do the arts and crafts project,” Briggs said.
Some of the activities include writing letters to Santa, decorating Christmas bags, making ornaments and making picture frames to hold children’s photos taken with Santa.
There will be no charge to participate in the arts and crafts activities. A fee will be charged to have a photo taken with Santa.
Local residents donated supplies for the arts and crafts.
Participating stores include Around the Corner, Style by Fox, Dena’s, Downtown Barbershop, Lindsey Lane Bridal and House of Flowers.
First United Methodist Church will be serving free hot chocolate.