The spirit of small town life will fill the air this weekend, as the annual Jay Christmas parade gets underway.
The parade, Home for the Holidays, will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, in downtown Jay.
Chamber officials have named Gayla and Jason Robinett as this year's grand marshals.
"We try to find somebody who has contributed and given back to the community," explained Becki Farley, Jay Chamber president. "Gayla and Jason have certainly done that."
Farley said the decision to name the couple as the grand marshals grew out of a discussion within the chamber's board of directors.
She said the Robinetts have assisted in multiple community and school events for many years.
"They helped us during Huckleberry Festival, and when we needed to move Cruise Night because of the parking lot, they loaned us golf carts and four-wheelers to transport people," Farley said. "They are always willing to help in the community when they can."
Gayla Robinett said they are excited to serve as the grand marshals for this year's parade.
"We are so honored," Robinett said. "This is so wonderful.
"This is our home. Yes we came from different places, but this is home."
About the Robinetts
Jason and Gayla Robinett moved to the Jay area in August 2001 from Cyril, Oklahoma.
Together the couple have five children: Jessica Konemann, Cody Robinett, Tristan Robinett, Heather Robinett and Elyse Robinett, along with Kiley Galindo.
In 2011, the couple built the beginnings of what is known as the RFC Event Center on Highway 127 outside of Jay.
The facility, which has grown in the past three years, now includes the main event center, an outdoor music festival stage, an outdoor event pavilion, and a water slide and lake for swimming. In 2018, they plan to expand, adding an RV Park.
"This is our home," Gayla Robinett said. "Our kids grew up here. Our oldest was in third grade when we moved here. This is home."
Robinett said she and Jason both love to give, after watching their parents being generous - regardless of financial ability - as they were growing up.
"It's always been part of our lives, to be giving," Robinett said. "It's something we've tried to install in our children."
Robinett said the giving nature of those living in the Jay community is something she loves.
"I love how people come together to help one another," Robinett said. "If anyone is in need, they come together. It's so great to see everyone come together."
She also loves the hometown pride found within the community - from the parades on "any occasion you can think of" to the way residents support students within the Jay Public School system.
"We celebrate all that's good, and what we have," Robinett said. "Yes, everyone has differences, but this community pulls together regardless."
About the Parade
Organized by members of the Jay Chamber of Commerce, line up will begin at 1 p.m., on First Street near NAPA.
The parade begins at 2 p.m., with the route traveling down Main Street (Highway 59) through downtown Jay, before ending at the Walmart parking lot.
At the time of line up, each group/individual will receive a postcard to fill out with information about the entry, for the announcers at the gazebo.
Entries will be accepted on the day of the parade, without pre-registration. The only stipulation made for entries is that the chamber's float be the only one with Santa.
The parade is free to enter. Chamber officials ask if the entry includes animals, for individuals to contact the chamber office for additional information.
For more information, persons interested may contact the chamber at 918-253-8698.