With the parade route for the Christmas Parade set, it's looking like Santa can come to town.
The event, slated for Friday, Dec. 6 and coordinated by the Times Observer and the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, received the blessing of the City of Warren's special events committee on Thursday morning.
The route was one of the items set on Thursday.
Times Observer publisher Robert Patchen said that, on the day of the event, parade registration will be held at the Times Observer circulation warehouse off of Market Street from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. From there, the parade lineup will be in the BiLo plaza behind the Shoe Sensation portion of the plaza.
The parade will proceed north on Market Street, turn left onto Pennsylvania Avenue and then proceed to Hickory Street, turning right and ending at the Municipal Building on Third Avenue for the lighting of the Christmas tree.
Parade patrons are asked not to line up on Market Street because north and southbound traffic will be permitted during the parade on Market Street at Pennsylvania Avenue.
Closures include the entirety of Hickory Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Fourth Avenue and the eastern lane of the Hickory Street Bridge. Motorists traveling east on Pennsylvania Avenue west of the bridge will still be able to turn right onto the bridge and proceed to the south side. Motorists on the east side who wish to travel west can proceed on Fourth Avenue, which will remain open, and down Poplar Street to access Pennsylvania Avenue.
"We're looking to have the least amount of effect on traffic that we can," said Patchen.
Melissa Anderson, WCCBI director of chamber operations, said the chamber has started to receive parade registration forms and continue to "work on that and build to a great event."
She said the ZemZems have agreed to participate in addition to several local businesses and local bands. "(We will) continue to look for as many local organizations to get involved," she said. "The other great thing is how the downtown district is embracing the parade... If somebody has something going on that evening, we'll get it added on. We're very excited to be able to work with the Times Observer to make this year's parade a success."
"The city and the events committee have been extremely accommodating in everything we want to do and we really appreciate everything the city has allowed us to plan," Patchen said.
For clarification, Patchen said the parade will start at 6:30 p.m. instead of 6 p.m., as was previously reported. "We were originally planning six," he said, "(but 6:30) helps accommodate getting people home from work and back with their families."
Anderson and Patchen both encouraged businesses that have something planned for the the evening of the Christmas Parade, who have not contacted them, to let them know so the information can be included in all subsequent promotional materials.
A map featuring all of the downtown activities that have been scheduled thus far for Dec. 6 will be published in Saturday's Times Observer.