Close Window
Print Window
Return to Main News Page

In the News


Festival of Lights | Holiday Parade | Holiday Lightings | Memorial Tree

Decades of Celebrations is Theme for 70th Holiday Parade
1946 - 2016 More than 90 entries in 70th Holiday Parade
11 21 16 C-T

CAPTION: Students of Bishop Hogan Memorial School travel Washington Street during the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce's 70th annual Holiday Parade Saturday morning. This entry won first place in its float category and also received the Parade Grand Marshal Trophy.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Santa makes a grand entrance atop a Chillicothe Fire Department truck and greets those gathered along the street.

C-T Photo / Jaime Saucedo


C-T Photos / Cathrine Stortz Ripley
Parade Grand Marshal honors went to Chillicothe Education Foundation and the city of Chillicothe. The foundation was represented by Ed Douglas (left) and Councilman-at-Large David Moore (right) represented the city.

C-T Photos / Jaime Saucedo
Crowds of people give an enthusiastic and warm welcome
to Santa as he arrives on the scene Saturday morning.

Despite temperatures in the mid-30s, a large crowd attended Chillicothe's 70th annual Holiday Parade Saturday morning, November 19, in downtown Chillicothe. People lined Washington Street and watched as many clubs, organizations and businesses highlighted the anniversary year with the theme "Decades of Celebrations." The parade, presented by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce, featured more than 90 entries and was sponsored by Hedrick Medical Center, Hy-Vee and Midwest Gloves and Gear. The parade began at 10 a.m. and was timed at 90 minutes. "The Holiday Parade is a treasured community event that kicks off the local Christmas season," said Crystal Narr, director of the Chamber of Commerce. "The Chamber is happy to be part of such a wonderful tradition. We are grateful for all of the organizations, businesses and families that took the time to enter the parade and we look forward to our 71st annual holiday parade." The parade was announced live from the courthouse location on Washington Street by Dave Rogers and Bill Shaffer.

Photo / Lonnie Sewell

Entries were judged on use of theme, originality and appearance. The entry by Bishop Hogan Memorial School featured scenes from old Chillicothe and won not only first place in its division, but also the Grand Marshal Trophy. Its theme was "Uniting the Decades through Christ" and displayed Chillicothe through the years with images of the Ben Bolt Theater, Chillicothe Business College, Mart Drug, and Calico Pony. The grand marshal honor for the parade was filled by two local entities: the Chillicothe Education Foundation (represented by President Ed Douglas), and the City of Chillicothe (represented by Councilman-at-Large David Moore.) The Education Foundation supports many endeavors based on education in the Chillicothe area, and the city has been instrumental in its support of local education.

Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney was part of the parade and was accompanied by 9-year-old Tara Webb, who was chosen as this year's Christmas Spirit Student. Tara is the daughter of James and Megan Webb and Brandi Rogers. She and the mayor rode in the parade in a vehicle driven by Darrel Rinehart. Along with her parade appearance, Tara attended the Festival of Lights opening night Saturday and will be on hand for the Kids Christmas on Dec. 7. Chillicothe bands played holiday music throughout the parade. They included the Chillicothe High School Marching Hornets as well as Chillicothe Middle School's 7th and 8th grade bands. Bands from Hamilton, Southwest Livingston County, and Linn County (Purdin) also performed.

Highlights for the parade also include the Kansas City Royals mascot, Sluggerrrr; and K.C. Wolf, the mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs. Another special entry was that of the Livingston County Fire Chiefs: Chula (Jeff Gillespie), Chillicothe and Chillicothe Rural (Darrell Wright), Dawn (Larry Davies), Green Township (Paul McIntosh), Mooresville (Larry Wohlgemuth), and Wheeling (Darrin Fravel). The final entry of the parade was a fire truck carrying the Chillicothe High School cheerleaders, and Santa, wishing everyone a merry Christmas.

Parade results are as follows:
Float Division - Youth - 1st place: Busy Bees 4-H Club - This float had the theme of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" recognizing military veterans. 2nd place: Morningside Center with Boomers to Bloomers and Partners in Education - This float included Morningside Center's board of directors, staff and residents, along with their Partner in Education (Mrs. Reeter's kindergarten class; and Mrs. Neal's fourth grade "Boomers to Bloomers" class. 3rd place: Cub Scout Pack 120 - Cub Scout members represented youth from the 1930s to the present.

Float Division - Business and Organization - 1st place: McCoy, Samples & Mattingly Dental Clinic put its own spin on the popular movie, "The Polar Express" with the "Molar Express" to win top float in this division. 2nd place: Chemically Dependent Salon - This float displayed hair style and fashion from the 1940s to the present and included a perm machine used in the 1940s that used electricity. 3rd place: Comfort Inn & Suites - This float had the theme of "The 70s are Back for Christmas" and featured movies from that era.

Float Division - Non-Profit Organization - 1st place: Bishop Hogan Memorial School - This float had the theme of "Uniting the Decades through Christ." With displays depicting old Chillicothe which included the Ben Bolt, Chillicothe Business College, Mart Drug, and Calico Pony. The message was that "Chillicothe has changed and grown throughout the decades but the one constant is God and the family." 2nd place: Girl Scouts Service Unit 820 - This float had the theme of "Building the Decades One Girl at a Time." Girl Scouts is celebrating 100 years of cookie sales. 3rd place: First Baptist Church Children's Choir - This choir meets every Tuesday after school and learns the word of God through music. The theme of their parade entry was that the "children are celebrating the events that started our decades of celebration."

Band Division - Trophies - 1st place: Penney High School - The band consists of 32 members, plus the color guard, in grades 8-12. 2nd place: The Linn County Marching Mustangs - The band consists of 20 members in grades 7-12. 3rd place: Southwest Livingston County - The band consists of 12 members in grades 7-12. The Chillicothe bands are hosts for the parade and are not judged. The Marching Hornets are comprised of 69 CHS students, the Chillicothe 8th Grade Band is comprised of 45 students, and the Chillicothe 7th Grade Band is comprised of 65 students.


The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that "Decades of Celebrations" has been chosen as the 2016 Holiday Parade theme. The Holiday Parade this year will be sponsored by Hy-Vee, Hedrick Medical Center 
and Midwest Gloves & Gear. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, in downtown Chillicothe and will include floats, bands, vehicles, animals, mascots, and, of course, Santa. All businesses, organizations, churches, youth groups, scout troops and schools are encouraged to have an entry for the parade. The 70th Annual Holiday Parade is organized by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce through its Parade Committee. Entry forms are required for parade entry, according to Crystal Narr. Forms may be obtained at the Chillicothe Commerce Center, 514 Washington Street, or printed from the chamber website at under the 'Featured Event' heading. "The committee chose the parade theme this year since it lends itself to the celebration of this being our 70th holiday parade in Chillicothe along with other big celebrations such as the 100th anniversary of the Livingston County Library," Narr said.
The Grand Marshal honor this year will be filled by two local entities. The Chillicothe Education Foundation, who will be represented by President Ed Douglas, and the City of Chillicothe, represented by Councilman-at-Large David Moore, will be honored as the Grand Marshals for our 70th annual parade. "These two entities were the primary advocates of this year's bond issue which was passed by the local voters. This issue was very important to the future of education in our community. We are so happy to be honoring them this year," according to Ronni Clark, Parade Committee member. All participants are asked to decorate their parade entry. Entries can choose to be in judged or non-judged categories. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three places in each judged category. Entries will be judged in the following categories: Business entries, Non-Profit Group or Organization entries and Youth Organization entries. Parade judging will take place during the parade, with the announcement of the winners to follow on Saturday afternoon. Entry is free if received by Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. After that date, a $25 fee will be charged for each entry. For more information, contact the Chamber 660-646-4050 or

Memorial Tree

C-T 11/23/16 - On a beautiful Thursday night, with clear skies and a comfortable November air, Main Street Chillicothe held its second annual Memory Tree Lighting at Silver Moon Plaza in downtown Chillicothe. An estimated 300 people attended the memorial tree lighting, honoring 100 passing family members and friends of the Chillicothe community. Assistant Director of Main Street Chillicothe, Ben White, was pleased with the event, saying that the "nice weather" was a good surprise and that they "were really pleased with the children's choir." The First Baptist Church Children's Choir serenaded the attending crowd and Pastor Allen Brock delivered a short word on the passing of loved ones.

As the names were called, the hushed crowd waited somberly and the tone of the bell rang through the plaza, while they called name after name. And, after all of the names were called, there was a moment of silence for the loved ones who have passed. As the tree was lighted, the crowd transformed from lamenting a loved one's passing, to celebrating the lives that they lived.


Main Street Chillicothe is hosting its second annual Memory Tree Lighting and Dedication Service on November 17, 2016, starting at 6 p.m. in Silver Moon Plaza. Community members can purchase ornaments to place on the tree to honor the memory of a loved one who has passed. Special ornaments can be purchased from Main Street Chillicothe for $10 each or three for $25. This includes a card memorializing loved ones that will be placed in the ornament. Ornaments will be hung throughout the holiday season. There is a limited number of ornaments to sell, and Main Street sold out last year, according to Main Street Director Micah Landes. A small service, music, and the ringing of the bell to honor loved ones will make up the evening. If you would like to honor a loved one's memory this holiday season, please contact Main Street Chillicothe at 660-646-4071 or by email at

Return to Top

Close Window
Return to Home Page