City of Cookeville, Tech students to participate in annual parade

There is no place like home for the holidays, but while students are still on campus, they can escape the stress of finals and enjoy the Cookeville Christmas parade.
Cookeville is hosting its 46th annual Christmas parade Dec. 3 starting at 7 p.m.  The event was originally scheduled for Nov. 26 but was rescheduled because of the weather.
The theme for this year’s parade is Memories and Mistletoe.
 Students can take a break from the projects, papers and studying to attend the Christmas parade to get in the holiday spirit.
Some students who have lived around Cookeville since they were little go to the Christmas parade as a family tradition.
“It’s something that my family did every year from the time I was 7 or so, and it’s also something I wanted to continue with my son,” Becky Lauer, junior, said. “It’s not really Christmas until you go to the parade.”
Lauer also said one of the reasons she still goes, other than taking her son, is because she feels like she gets to be a kid again, too. She said her son loves seeing the Christmas lights and fire trucks in the parade, like she always has.
Other students go to the Christmas parade just to feel the holiday cheer in the season the parade brings out in the community.
“I like watching to see the new youth talents and the hard work our community and businesses put into spreading a little holiday cheer,” Ciara Jones, senior, said.
Jones also said she likes going because she has marched in the parade five times.
The groups from Tech in the parade are Athletics, the dance team, Awesome and Grandpappy, and the Student Council for Exceptional Children.
The Student Council for Exceptional Children joined the parade two weeks ago, and this is the first year it will be in it.
“We are going to walk in the parade with a few of our members and some of their family members that have disabilities,” Kayla Walker, student council member, said. “We wanted to enter the parade mainly because no one knows that we exist. We want our community to know that our club is out there, and we would like to start being involved more.”
Tech Athletics will also be participating in the parade this year, and the theme for its float is Memories of Championships, which is a play on the main theme of the parade.
“Our department and all of our student athletes enjoy the parade as way to thank our Cookeville community for giving support throughout the year,” Amanda Thatcher, athletics administration, said. “It showcases the creativity of the members of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, who volunteer to create the theme and decorate the float.”
Thatcher also said the parade gives the students athletes a chance to interact with members of their fan base off campus.
According to the Cookeville Christmas parade’s Facebook page, it will run from the corner of Seventh Street and Washington Avenue to the square at Broad Street and on to the Cookeville Depot Museum.
The Cookeville tree lighting has also been rescheduled for Dec. 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the front steps of the Cookeville Performing Arts Center.
For any more information about the parade, contact 931-526-2211, the Cookeville Chamber of Commerce, or email cookevilleparade@yahoo.com.