December 4, 2021 at 7:00pm
Members of Ansonia Community Pride (ACP) are busy preparing for the third annual Lighted Christmas Parade set for 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
Christa Everman, one of the members of ACP, said the parade features decorated vehicles as tractors, mowers and golf carts.
Line-up starts at 5 p.m. at the Ansonia First Church of God.
“Participants need to be there by 6:30 p.m.,” she said. “Please enter the drive on Elroy-Ansonia Road. The State Route 118 entrances will be closed for exit only.”
According to her, the parade leaves the parking lot and heads north on 118/Main Street and turns right at the light and heads east on State Route 47/Canal Street, ending at the school.
“The line-up is ‘first come-first served’, so we ask participants to be mindful if they want two entries back to back, they need to arrive together,” she added.
Turnouts for the last two parades exceeded the ACP’s expectations.
“I believe the first year we had roughly 30-35 participants and the second year we had roughly 45-48 participants,” Everman said. “Both years’ participants have been creative and enthusiastic. We hope to have even more this year!
Anything motorized and decorated with lights and Christmas decorations is welcome to participate in the parade.
“Also, we wanted to note, we have yet to have a lighted combine in the parade,” she went on. “We are wondering who may be our first? Let’s make 2021 the year!”
Everman said, due to safety concerns, if there is inclement weather, they are not allowing horses in the parade.
Drivers, she said, need to be 16 years of age.
“Anyone under the age of 13 must be riding on a float, because they’re not permitted to walk the route,” she said. “Any participants arriving without lights and decorations will be restricted from participating.”
Last year’s event was dubbed a “reverse parade.”
“Due to Covid restrictions last year, we canceled the annual parade,” Everman remarked. “We still wanted to do something for Christmas for the community. We use the entry fees from this event to donate to local causes within our village. We decided to do a ‘reverse parade’ and have a home- and business-decorating contest. For every home or business that participated, the Ansonia Community Pride Group donated $20 toward the Ansonia Food Bank. Our goal was $1,000. We surpassed that goal, which was really exciting. For 2021, we are going back to our regular Lighted Christmas Parade.”
What if the weather doesn’t cooperate this year?
“Thankfully, weather doesn’t really impede on the parade too much,” she said. “If there is a Level 3 snow emergency for the village, we will cancel. The first year was rainy and cold. We were worried it would hurt participation, but people showed, and everything turned out great. The skies cleared while we were lining participants up and the parade went smoothly. The second year was just cold, but, other than that, the weather was on our side and the parade was so much fun.”
Entry fees, it was reported cost $15 if registered by Nov. 19 and $25 after Nov. 19. Participants are encouraged to register beforehand, to make things run smoother, but can register the day of, if they arrive before 6:15 p.m.
“We do not limit the number of participants at this point,” Everman explained. “If they need more information, we have a Facebook page dedicated to the parade, Ansonia Community Pride – Lighted Tractor Parade. We answer messages on this page. Participants can call or text me at 937-564-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org as well. We will be posting registration and waiver forms this week. They will be available in local businesses as well.”
Ansonia Community Pride formed in 2016. The mission of the group is to work in partnership with the Village of Ansonia and community members to fund and facilitate projects and initiatives that better the community.
“We have organized multiple projects over the years,” Everman noted. “Covid put a damper on some of our regular activities, and delayed some of our plans, but we’re ramping back up. We paint Tigerpaws on the streets to support our school; plant seasonal flowers in the flower boxes uptown; donated the cost of materials and sourced the wooden flower boxes uptown; organized the veteran flag project; and worked with the Whistle Stop to do a downtown pep rally, just to name a few things. We hope to procure a clock for the park downtown to honor the history of Ansonia. We are going to organize the Veteran Flag project for this upcoming spring to get new flags up honoring our veterans, and hope to install more flags as well. There are many other projects in the works too.”
In addition to Everman, other valuable group members are: Abby Evers, Ashley Ryan, Jenni Partin, Ted Adkins, Stephanie Adkins, Taylor Meadows, Sara Smith, Jessica Riffle, Amber Gelhaus, Suzy Singer, Sarah Edwards, Jill Beam, Justin Shuttleworth, Jennifer Hecht, Crystal Gibbs and Erica Wentworth.
“Erica Wentworth is our group’s ‘unofficial’ leader, “Everman stated. “She has dedicated many hours to this group and our community, and we would not be as successful as we are without her. She’s had a lot of time-consuming, yet exciting, things going on for this past year, so Crystal Gibbs and I are giving her some assistance and heading up the 2021 Parade. I am heading the planning and prep work leading up to the parade, and Crystal will be in charge the day of the parade.”
She went on,”The village fire department, police department, rescue, local businesses and local organizations, and Ansonia First Church of God have all helped us in making this parade successful by donating time and resources that we have requested. We appreciate them so much!”
Volunteers are needed to assist the ACP.
“We would love to have more volunteers,” said Everman. “The day of the parade is very busy, and the more help we could get the better. You can help with planning or just the day of parade stuff or both. Your willingness to help will not be turned down by us.”
Things ACP could use some help with are:
- Signage for the parade line-up entry – any artsy help will help.
- Traffic directors – at the line-up
- Safety crew – help at the railroad crossing (just in case trains decide to join the party), by making drivers aware of what’s going on.
- Safety crew can also help along the parade route keeping people back and helping pace the tractors.
- Sound system for the parade emcee to use – the bigger the better.
The committee is asking people in the community to decorate their homes and villages before Dec. 4.
“Please light up the village and bring the Christmas cheer,” she said. “Our group loves serving and being a part of this community. This year’s entry fees are going to serve families in our school system who could use some extra assistance this year. Whether we need to buy coats, backpacks, shoes, clothes, or food – we will be working with the elementary and high school administration to identify the needs of our community members and their children. We hope to raise $1,000 or more again this year.”