Parade, holiday cheer to sweep city Saturday
Buckets of candy, the sound of jingle bells and thousands of people wearing Santa hats including the man in the red suit will spread holiday cheer across downtown Lawton during the annual Holiday in the Park Parade at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Over 60 floats and groups, including high school bands, dogs with their owners and horse riding clubs, will showcase their creativity in the parade, themed "Christmas Toys," according to Melinda Kukurich, parade coordinator.
The parade will begin on Southwest 2nd Street and C Avenue, proceed north to to Northwest Ferris Avenue and end in Elmer Thomas Park. Once the last entry Santa Claus enters the park, the Christmas lights that adorn the park will light up, all at once, Kukurich said.
Prior to the parade, fun festivities in Elmer Thomas Park will take place throughout the day, beginning at 7 a.m. with Fishing for Food, a free fishing event at Lake Helen. At noon, fishermen and women may eat free hot dogs and win prizes if they donated items to Lawton Food Bank in exchange for raffle tickets.
Pre-parade activities will continue from 4-6 p.m. by the Holiday House, where hot cocoa is available. Children and families may enjoy face painting, bounce houses, senior "pop up shop," a photo booth, food trucks and vendors.
At 4:30 p.m., the parade participants will line-up on C Avenue, north of Central Mall, in preparation for the parade. Following the parade, Mayor Fred Fitch will present Christmas Tree in the Park, in which he will light up the tree at 8 p.m. Saturday's activities in the park end at 9 p.m.
The decorations in the park will remain lit through Dec. 31 and potentially into early January. About 14,000 people stop by the park to see the lights each year, according to Michael Tenis, chairperson of Holiday in the Park.