Clydesdales among changes to Tupelo parade

Tupelo stockBy M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Day will become night and backward will become forward for the 2013 Reed’s Tupelo Christmas Parade.

The event will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. The change from a weekend morning to a weekday night was done to accommodate the Budweiser Clydesdales. The horses will be in Northeast Mississippi from Dec. 10-13.

The changes keep coming, according to Jessica Hollinger, marketing associate for Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, which oversees the parade.

“The route will be reversed this year,” she said. “It’ll start at Fairpark, so we’ll go west on Main Street, right on Robins and right on Jefferson.”

Hollinger said the new plan was made with safety in mind.

“It’ll end at the BancorpSouth Arena,” she said. “We thought the parking lot would be a more secure location at night when parents come to pick up their kids. Everyone can be in one area.”

Main Street from Front to Elizabeth streets will close at 4 p.m., and the parade lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. All vehicles will need to be moved from the parade route by 5:30 p.m.

The theme for this year is “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and Tupelo City Council President Nettie Davis will be the grand marshal.

“We wanted to get a lot of floats decorated with Christmas lights at night this year,” Hollinger said. “We have 46 floats this year, so pretty much half of the parade will be floats.”

The Budweiser Clydesdales will be in town because Mitchell Distributing in Tupelo won Anheuser-Busch’s Ambassador of Excellence distinction for three consecutive years, making the company one of seven “Big Jake” winners.

The “Gentle Giants” will be on view from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 11-13 at the Lee Country Agri-Center. They’ll also be at a Community Development Foundation Business after Hours event at Mitchell Distributing at 5 p.m. Dec. 12.

CDF members will be admitted free, and non-members can pay $5. There will be food, drinks, live entertainment and the chance to have pictures made with the Clydesdales.

The main event will be seeing the massive horses on parade through downtown Tupelo. Hollinger said they won’t be alone.

“I think the Clydesdales will have their own pooper scooper following them that day,” she said. “I think it’ll be a fancy pooper scooper, too.”

scott.morris@journalinc.com