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

More Than 90 Entries in 71st Holiday Parade
11 20 17
Intermittent rain and temperatures in the upper 30s set the stage for Chillicothe's 71th annual Holiday Parade Saturday morning. Many parade-goers opted to watch the parade from inside businesses, beneath canopies and from inside their cars parked along the parade route. The parade lasted about an hour and included more than 90 entries provided by clubs, organizations, businesses. This year's parade theme was Christmas Around the World. The popular community event was presented by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Hedrick Medical Center, Hy-Vee and Midwest Gloves and Gear. The parade was announced live just south of the courthouse location on Washington Street by Dave Rogers and Bill Shaffer. This was the first time the new community stage was put to use. The Holiday Parade is a treasured community event that kicks off the local Christmas season. The 72nd annual holiday parade will be hosted on November 17, 2018.

Entries were judged on the use of the theme, originality and appearance. Winners will be mailed their prizes. Those winning trophies will need to stop by the Chillicothe Chamber office at 514 Washington Street. The entry by BTC Bank, along with its Partner in Education - the second grade classes of Heather McGraw and Brandi Ellis - won not only first place in its division (float division, youth), but also the Grand Marshal Trophy. The float included a large globe with Merry Christmas written in different languages.

The grand marshal honor for the parade was filled by the first responders due to their selfless serve to Chillicothe and Livingston County. The group of organizations and individuals represented in the parade: Livingston County Sheriff's Department, Chillicothe Police Department, Department of Emergency Services from all around the county (Chula Fire Department, Dawn Firefighters Association), Green Township Fire Department, Mooresville volunteer Fire Department, Wheeling Fire Department, and LifeFlight Eagle. Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney was part of the parade and was accompanied by 8-year-old Vivian Miller, who was chosen as this year's Christmas Spirit Student. Vivian is the daughter of Mary Miller and Brian Miller. She is a third-grade student at Field School. Also riding in the parade was Scott Rule, president of the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce.

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, Troy, Meadville, and Linn County also participated. Highlights for the parade include the Kansas City Royals mascot, Sluggerrrr, and K.C. Wolf, the mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs. The final entry of the parade was a fire truck, carrying the Chillicothe High School cheerleaders, and Santa, wishing everyone a merry Christmas.

CAPTION: A large globe atop a flatbed trailer was the Chillicothe Holiday Parade entry by BTC Bank, along with
students in the second grade classes of Heather McGraw and Brandi Ellis. This entry won not only first place
in its division (float division, youth), but also the Grand Marshal Trophy.

Parade results are as follows: Float Division - Youth - 1st place: BTC Bank with Mrs. Mc-Graw's Partners in Education class; 2nd place: Cornerstone Church with a train decorated for Christmas; 3rd place: Morningside Center with Mrs. Reeter's kindergarten class and Mrs. Neal's 4th grade Boomers to Bloomers class. Float Division - Business and Organization - 1st place: Chillicothe Strength and Conditioning; 2nd place: Citizens Bank & Trust; 3rd place: Ballet Arts Center for Dance. Float Division - Non-Profit Organization - 1st place: First Baptist Church; 2nd place: Bishop Hogan; 3rd place: The Tornadoes. Band Division - Trophies - 1st place: Hamilton Marching Hornets; 2nd place: Troy Marching Trojans; 3rd place: Meadville Marching Eagles. The Chillicothe bands are hosts for the parade and are not judged. The Marching Hornets is comprised of 82 CHS students, the Chillicothe 8th Grade Band is comprised of 58 students, and the Chillicothe 7th Grade Band is comprised of 50 students

C-T Photos / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Christmas Around the World is Holiday Parade Theme
The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that "Christmas Around the World" has been chosen as the 2017 Holiday Parade theme. The Holiday Parade this year will be sponsored by Hy-Vee, Hedrick Medical Center, and Midwest Gloves & Gear. The Grand Marshal honor this year will be filled by not one individual but rather a unique collection of local entities. The Holiday Parade committee has selected our area first responders to serve as this year's holiday parade grand marshals. "The individuals that comprise our local first responders deserve to be this year's grand marshals for their dedication and service to our community. The Chillicothe Emergency Services Department, Chillicothe Police Department, Livingston County Sheriff's Department and LifeFlight are a critical part of the safety and security of our residents. We are so happy to be honoring them this year," according to Chuck Erke, Parade Committee member. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, 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 71st Annual Holiday Parade is organized by the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce through its Parade Committee.

Entry forms are required for parade entry and may be picked up at the Chillicothe Commerce Center, 514 Washington Street. The committee chose the parade theme this year based off of the worldly curiosity of how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. Everyone seems to have their own traditions, customs and ways of celebrating this widely celebrated holiday. 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. The judged categories are business, youth organizations, and non-profit organizations. Entry is free if received by Friday, November 3. After that date, a $25 fee will be charged for each entry. For more information, contact the Chamber 660-646-4050 or


Memorial Tree 2017

11 20 17 - Memory Tree Dedicated, Lighted for the Season - Main Street Chillicothe held the third annual Memory Tree lighting and dedication service at Silver Moon Plaza Thursday night. The event was held to memorialize loved ones who have passed away with a special ornament holding that loved one's name inside. The First Baptist Church Children's Choir sang just before the event began. Alan Brock, director of the Linn/Livingston Baptist Association, led the ceremony with a message about everyone's right to mourn loved ones who pass on, but the need to get back to living a happy life. More than 100 ornaments were purchased for the Memory Tree that will be on display at Silver Moon Plaza throughout the coming holiday season. Main Street Chillicothe executive director, Ben White, was on hand for the event and participated in the reading of names. Ornament sales began on October 9, and all revenues go to the expense of the tree.

10/25/17 - Join us for a holiday tradition in Downtown Chillicothe at Silver Moon Plaza for the Memory Tree Lighting and Dedication Service on Thursday, November 16, at 6 p.m. in Silver Moon Plaza. Special ornaments can be purchased from Main Street Chillicothe for $10 each or three for $25. This includes a card for the name of the person you are memorializing, and the card will be placed inside the ornament and then the ornament will be hung on the tree. The evening will include music from the First Baptist Church Youth Choir, a special message from Pastor Alan Brock, and then each name will be read and a bell will rang in memory for each. "We are happy to provide this event to the community as a way to remember passed loved ones and honor their legacy," said Ben White, Executive Director of Main Street Chillicothe. "All proceeds go towards paying for the tree in Silver Moon Plaza in which the ornaments are hung and to continue to buy bulbs for future events." If you would like to honor a loved one's memory as part of The Main Street Memory Tree this holiday season, please contact Main Street Chillicothe at 660-646-4050 or by email at Ornaments may be purchased at the Main Street Chillicothe office on the second floor of the Commerce Center at 514 Washington Street or by visiting our website at


Holiday Lightings

C-T Photo 12/20/2017

The snowflake decorations that have been attached to downtown light poles and have illuminated
the holiday season since November were taken down Wednesday by Chillicothe Municipal Utilities workers.
Temperatures reached above 50 degrees Wednesday afternoon. Although the lighted snowflakes were removed, Chillicotheans may see real snowflakes coming down today. The National Weather Service has forecast winter weather conditions to return today with rain, freezing rain and sleet before 11 a.m., then freezing rain and sleet, possibly mixed with snow later in the morning and then snow in the afternoon. Temperatures were expected to fall to around 18 by 5 p.m. Little or no snow and sleet accumulation was expected.
C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T 01 11 18

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