By Benjamin Bullard
The Cullman Times
Good Hope is getting in the Christmas spirit by planning the town’s first-ever holiday parade, an early-December event that organizers say is open to participation for any Good Hope resident or organization.
Scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8, the parade will wind down County Road 437 (Old Ala. Highway 69) from Trimble Road to the Good Hope Municipal Park complex. Then, when the parade is over, the city’s annual Christmas in the Park celebration at the park will get underway.
Good Hope city council member Jerry Bartlett said some members of the Good Hope marching band will be leading off the parade, but anyone is welcome to participate. All they have to do is notify officials ahead of time by calling the city hall at 256-739-3757.
The Cullman County sheriff’s office will close off the parade route along the mile-long stretch of CR 437 leading from the school to the park.
“Everybody is going to meet for the parade out in front of the high school at 1 p.m., and then they’ll march down from the school to the red light [on CR 437],” Bartlett said. “That’s really where the parade starts. We’ll start at the red light, and go all the way down to the first entrance into the Good Hope Municipal Park [on Madison Drive]. We’ll march all the way around the park, and then the parade will disperse at the gravel parking lot below city hall. When the parade arrives, that’s when Christmas in the Park begins.”
The park festivities start at 2 p.m., featuring refreshments, children’s activities, a hay ride, pictures with Santa, and — best of all — no admission charge.
“We just want it to be an event where everybody comes on out and gets together,” Bartlett said. “Everybody will get a ticket that will allow them to a free bowl of chili, a free hot dog and a drink. The only thing anybody will have to buy would maybe be if they want some extra refreshments on top of that.
Good Hope mayor Corey Harbison said Christmas in the Park is a great way for Good Hope residents to enjoy a community Christmas party at a little slower pace — before things get busy during the final two weeks of the holiday season.
“It’s early enough in the month that I think people who want to be a part of it will be able to come out and get together with their neighbors,” Harbison said. “It’s just something the city is doing to bring everybody a little closer at Christmastime, and I hope we’ll see a lot of people there. It should be a really relaxed environment for parents and kids, and, hopefully, it’ll just be a nice afternoon for everybody.”
Benjamin Bullard can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 734-2131 ext. 270.