Holiday parade and market full of fun

Debbie Blank | The Herald-TribuneDuring 2016's procession on a frosty afternoon, blankets were the key to staying warm on floats.

“Santa’s Christmas Village” is the theme for the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade and Market.

The cavalcade will occur Saturday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m.

After having volunteer Ryan Tekulve in charge of the parade for the past 14 years, “We will never be able to replace Mr. Tekulve, but we have had some able workers step up this year, and it should be great,” states office coordinator Patricia Hatcher.

BACC executive director Anna Ibold is encouraging businesses and organizations to decorate floats, keeping the theme in mind. "Not only do they get bragging rights, but they'll also receive gift certificates" – $100 for first place, $75 for second and $25 for third. May the best floats win!

Lineup begins at 11:30 a.m. on Columbus Avenue across from the Batesville Intermediate School and Batesville Middle School track. The float judging will start at 12:30. Banners will be displayed in front of the three best floats, which can be admired after the procession in a designated area at RomWeber Marketplace.

The parade’s route is the same as last year's. Participants will head south on Mulberry Street from Columbus Avenue, east on West Pearl Street, north on Main Street, east on Boehringer Street for half a block, south through Batesville Shopping Village, east on East Pearl Street, south on Park Avenue, west on George Street and north on Mulberry Street back to the start.

2017 chamber award recipients have once again been invited to be the grand marshals: Teacher of the Year Jenny Lents, Volunteer of the Year Ed Krause and Organization of the Year Batesville Area Historical Society led by Carolyn Dieckmann and Bill Flannery.

There will be 60-65 floats of all kinds that will wind through the city. A challenging part in parade planning is “making sure motorcycles don’t spook horses or kids,” says Hatcher.

She also indicates, “For a small local town, it is a very unique and fun opportunity for the community to interact with the businesses of Batesville.”

RomWeber Marketplace will be open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. so guests can chow down and clown around.

Entertainment will be provided by the chamber: the Mike Fritsch family at 11:30 a.m., Southeastern Indiana Dance Inc. at 12:15 p.m. and the Eureka Band from 2-3 p.m.

Various vendors will sell bite-size sweet snacks, barbecue, carvings, scented products and desserts. Multiple craft vendors and the Girl Scouts also will have booths.

Chamber leaders will be offering 2018 coupon books for $5. They also will be giving away free raffle tickets for chances to win 10 $50 chamber gift certificates that can be used at any of the 180-plus participating businesses. The drawing will be at 2:45 p.m., and persons must be present to win.

There will be plenty of activities for kids, including face painting by Batesville High School art students, crafts and viewing live reindeer, according to Ibold. Santa will also be joining his adored pets after the procession to visit with children.

When asked about the inspiration for continuing this beloved tradition in Batesville, Hatcher says, “The businesses look forward to kicking off the holiday season and it’s great to see everyone excited for the holiday festivities.”

Batesville High School senior Sam Wade is mentoring at The Herald-Tribune this semester.

How to get involved

“We will accept anyone who wants to participate. Hopefully weather will be good so people can help the community out,” mentions Hatcher.

Booth and parade entry forms are available at www.batesvillein.com (click on Community, Area Events, scroll down to Holiday Parade); the BACC office, 2 W. Pearl St.; and The Herald-Tribune

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