Organizers are working hard to make sure the 55th annual Cottonwood Christmas Parade remains true to its theme, "Old Fashioned Christmas."
That means the grand marshal will ride in a horse and buggy. All five Verde Valley mayors and some spouses will join a hayride, not in the typical open convertible. Santa must come in a genuine sleigh, though organizers are still working on the reindeer.
Who better to usher in an "Old Fashion Christmas" than Mr. Cottonwood himself, Chuck Mabery, this year's grand marshal.
Colleen Gilboy of the Ledbetter Law Firm and the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce are sharing the organizational duties this year.
Gilboy says there will be one and perhaps two bands this year, several floats and other displays. The final count of entries is still in flux. People tend to sign up at the last minute.
There are plenty of traditional entries and some new treats in store. Look for the Arizona Fly Wheelers with their oompa-style engines and the rough and ready Bill Williams Mountain Men. The Flip City Gymnastics teams will somersault down the street. The Mingus Mountain Cloggers and the Rio Verde Roverettes drill team will add their own percussion.
There are always lots of sparking cars. The Sedona Car Club will bring their gems, and the racy Verde Valley Vettes Corvette Club will pace the parade.
The Shrine funny cars and clowns always entertain.
But there are plenty of new entries. Out of Africa Wildlife Park will join the parade, along with the Dirty Verde Roller Derby. The Girl Scouts have their own float this year
And those entries are just the beginning. There is also a spirit line and the Verde Valley cyclists and more and more.
They will all vie for some of that best-of prize money. The Grand Prize will take home $150. The Judge's Favorite and the Best Display of Theme each pocket $100. First place at $75 and second at $25 are awarded in each category.
Be sure to get a spot early.
Collections will be made for the food bank, so be sure to bring some canned goods. Shopping carts will pickup the canned goods as the parade passes.