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The Christmas season officially kicks off on Saturday with the 2012 Chiefland Christmas Festival and parade — including a visit by Santa Claus who will close out the parade before heading to the Trailhead Park gazebo behind the Train Depot to visit with children and hear their wishes.
The festival, sponsored by the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce kicks off with a run at 9 a.m. and culminates with the parade at 6 p.m. and Santa's arrival in the park.
Activities will be in downtown Chiefland at the historic train depot, Trailhead Park and the surrounding area on US Highway 19 South.
The first event is the first ever Rudolph Fun Run, a 5K event on a cross-country trail, that also benefits the Chiefland Centennial Celebration. Runners can register by downloading the form at chiefland100.com/rudolph-fun-run and emailing the filled-in form to firstname.lastname@example.org. The runner can pick up the race packet at the Chiefland High School football field between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and the first 50 runners will get a T-Shirt and jingle bells for their shoes. Registration is $15 in advance or $20 the day of race at the football field. For more information on the race, call 352-493-1849 or email email@example.com.
The Festival's activities in the park begin at 10 a.m. with arts, crafts, music and activities for children throughout the day.
There will be raffles throughout the day and there will be a great selection of food vendors. Many games and activities will be for children so the entire family can join in the fun, including Mortie the Clown, the Big Barrel Train Ride and the Whimsical Motorized Pet Ride.
As with past Christmas Festivals there will be a big-screen TV at the park so football fans can watch the SEC football game.
During the day there will be a Christmas Pageant in the park with contestants in six age divisions competing for a crown, sash, or trophy and bragging rights. The divisions and titles are: newborn-1 year, “Little Miss Jingle Bell”; 2-4 years, “Little Miss Holly”; kindergarten-second grade, “Little Miss Snowflake”; third-fifth grade “Little Miss Mistletoe”; sixth-eighth grade, “Miss Teen Christmas”; and ninth-12th grade “Miss Christmas”.
The lighted parade starts at 6 p.m. from Chiefland High School and proceeds south down Main Street/U.S. Highway 19 to Trailhead Park.
It will be followed by the evening celebration that includes the lighting ceremony, caroling and visits with Santa. Walgreen’s will provide a photographer for pictures to be taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. A price sheet for orders will be provided at that time.
Local entertainment of church choirs, musicians and other entertainers have been invited to perform on the park stage.
Admission to the festival is free.
For more information, call the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce at 352-493-1849 or email firstname.lastname@example.org