MIAMI -The Christmas Parade on Rt. 66 in downtown Miami will have an extra special meaning this season on Saturday, December 4. The parade theme of “Santa’s Toy Shop” carries the message of GIVING this year. The Community Crisis Center and BACA (Biker’s Against Child Abuse) are partnering to accept and distribute gifts for children from participants and parade spectators.

“Members of BACA and Community Crisis Center will be accepting gifts along the parade route and placing them on Santa’s float,” said Chassie Summerlin, Chamber Office Manager. “The goal is to gather gifts for area children so that they will have a brighter Christmas this year.” BACA and Community Crisis Center will distribute these gifts to those in need this holiday season. The Miami Area Chamber of Commerce cordially invites everyone to participate in the message of giving by bringing a child’s toy, game or other type of gift to the parade and present it to the volunteers surrounding Santa’s float which will be featured at the end of the parade. Gifts may also be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce (103 E. Central, Ste. 100) during the next week.

The Christmas Parade on Rt. 66 will begin at 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 4 in downtown Miami. The Christmas Parade on Route 66 is considered to be one of the largest parades in Northeastern Oklahoma. The Miami Area Chamber of Commerce also invites any individual, group, organization or business to participate in the annual Christmas parade. “Participation in the annual Christmas Parade is a wonderful way for everyone to experience the Christmas season, promote your business and spread the joy of the Christmas season to our area residents and children,” said Juli Matthews, Parade Chairperson. Late parade entries will only be accepted until Thursday, December 2. Late entry fee is $15 for non-profit organizations and $20 for all other entries. First through third place will be awarded in five categories, including: Band, Decorated Vehicle, Spirit Team/Dance/Twirling/Drill, Equestrian Unit, and Float.

Anyone interested in participating in the Christmas Parade on Route 66 should contact the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce at 542-4481 or via email to info@miamiokchamber.com and request an entry form.  An entry form may also be accessed on the Chamber website at www. miamiokchamber.com/media/entry_form_2010.doc.