PARIS — The 2014 holiday season may still be in full swing but work on next year’s annual Christmas Parade has already begun.
The Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade Committee has announced that the 2015 Christmas parade will be held on Nov. 28 and next year’s theme will be “Toyland Christmas.”
“We looked back at themes we’ve kicked around for the past several years,” said Jennifer Boenig, chairwoman of the Christmas Parade Committee.
Toyland Christmas has been on the list of possibilities for the past few years and this year the committee of about 10 people — including Norway officials and chamber members — decided the time was right for the theme.
“We decided it would be easier for folks to come up with a float design,” Boenig said of why the theme was selected. The committee also looks at how well the theme will appeal to the public and if the theme can incorporate a musical element into the float.
Maine’s largest Christmas parade from Norway through Paris brought hundreds of people of all ages to line Main Street for more than two hours this year to see the floats that depicted the theme, “The Night Before Christmas.” There were also horse riders, twirlers, dancers, firetrucks from several towns, a group walking dogs, antique cars and school marching bands, among other attractions. The parade concluded with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who rode in a sleigh.
“Normally we wouldn’t meet until September to chose (a theme). But last year we said ‘let’s pick one now so when Christmas stuff goes on sale they could take advantage of it,’” she said.
Boenig said the committee also decided last year to pick a theme early so they were not inundated with phone calls halfway through the year asking what it was. So a few weeks after the 2014 Christmas parade ended, the group met to discuss how that parade went and to look forward to the next year’s parade.
Next year, Boenig said she hopes to get more musical groups into the parade. She is particularly interested in getting a bagpiper to march.