Pawnee’s annual Festival of Lights Christmas Parade kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25 with a grand entry by Santa Claus aboard Pawnee’s big red fire engine.

“Santa will be dropped off at the Buffalo Theater to visit with children and hear their requests for Christmas,” according to Tom Briggs, manager of the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce. “Santa will greet them in the foyer of the Buffalo Theater, a good area for photo-ops, so bring your picture taker.”

Fruit and candy will be given to each child, thanks to several area churches and the Chamber of Commerce. “Santa is always so well received and all the kids always ask about Mrs. Clause and of course Rudolph. These kids really care.”

The parade participants will line up in front of City Hall, 510 Illinois Street, starting at 5 p.m. The parade is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and will run from 5th Street down Harrison to 7th Street. Candy will not be thrown from the parade entries, but distributed at the Buffalo Theater.

The float judged as First Place will have its name engraved on a perpetual plaque that will hang in City Hall, according to Briggs. There will also be a prize for the best decorated business.

“The Parade participants will include a cornucopia of entries including one of the more famous, the Akdar Shriners. Their speed and antics are legendary,” Briggs said.

Elves and other Christmas characters will be working the festive crowd outside with inside activities at the renovated Buffalo Theater beginning after the Santa visits. Area stores will be open for shopping.

Sponsors for this year’s Festival of Lights include GRDA, the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce, the City of Pawnee, the Pawnee Lakeside Rodeo Foundation, and local churches.

Volunteers and contributions for this event are always welcomed. Please contact the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce at 918-762-2108, pawneeok@att.net or visit cityofpawnee.com or visit the Chamber on Facebook.

The Pawnee Chamber of Commerce is a member of Green Country Marketing Association, one of 11 multi-county organizations working with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, the Oklahoma Travel Industry Assn. and others to promote state tourism, an $8.9 billion industry.