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Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will once again make an appearance in downtown Williamson for the annual “Great White Way” Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Events will be held throughout the day on Saturday as well as Friday evening.

WILLIAMSON — The Action in Mingo (A.I.M.) group is finalizing plans for the annual “Great White Way” Christmas Parade and Celebration during the first weekend of December.

The two-day event will be in downtown Williamson on the evening of Friday, Dec. 4, and all day Saturday, Dec. 5 with the parade taking place at 5 p.m. Saturday.

According to A.I.M. President Jada Hunter, most activities will be held outside, and masks and social distancing will be required by everyone. Families will be allowed to gather in clusters, according to Hunter, but are asked not to mingle with other groups.

All local queens, kings, teams, cheerleading squads, dance groups, marching bands, classic cars, decorated ATVs and all Christmas characters are invited to participate in the parade. A cash prize will be given for the best decorated float.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance in the parade, according to Hunter, but would not be available for a meet-and-greet with children due to COVID-19.

Also at 11 a.m. Saturday, various youth vendors co-sponsored by the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce will set up to sell an array of items.

A stage will be set up in downtown with various entertainment acts throughout the day with Christmas caroling taking place every hour on the hour beginning at 11 a.m. until the parade at 5 p.m.

Other Saturday events include hayrides for families and friends as well as a gingerbread house making and ornament decorating workshop, an ugly sweater contest, a doll display and contest, storytelling and the annual reindeer run for children.

Following the parade, A.I.M. will give out free goodies from their annual bake-off and hot chocolate in front of the Cinderella Theatre.

The Friday, Dec. 5, events begin at 5 p.m. and are co-sponsored by the Family Resource Network and the TVCC.

Friday events include melting snowman s’mores making, crafts, hayrides and storytime under the stars at the Williamson Farmers’ Market Lot.

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and the Christmas Tree Decorating Contest for organizations, businesses and families will also be on display with the Festival of Trees on Friday.

Also, businesses and offices will compete for best decorated storefronts and office windows in white lights. Judging will take place Saturday evening.

This long-standing Christmas celebration in Williamson is named the “Great White Way” as a reference to Broadway’s Great White Way, which is decorated in bright, white lights.

For more information, call Hunter at 304-235-0909.

A.I.M. hosts various events in the Tug Valley area annually but has had to cancel a majority of their events in 2020 due to COVID-19, including the highly popular King Coal Festival and Parade held every September.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.