A huge sigh of relief could be heard around the lake as the Bagnell Dam Strip Association announced that there will, indeed, be a Christmas Parade in Lake Ozark. The Lake West Chamber of Commerce will also hold its annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 28th, 2020.

A huge sigh of relief could be heard around the lake as the Bagnell Dam Strip Association announced that there will, indeed, be a Christmas Parade in Lake Ozark.

With an abundance of caution in mind, this year’s parade will feature a few changes.

The theme, “We Need A Little Christmas,” guides the BDSA’s plans which include:

•All entries are welcome. The only requirement is a phone call, e-mail or other notice of participation. Rickie Smith will take reservations at 573-434-3552 or rickie@mylaketv.com.

•Fees and forms are not required for 2020.

•Important Note: No throwing of candy, trinkets or anything from the parade entries is the official policy of BDSA parades. These items can be distributed with walkers. Safety is the reason for the change in policy.

•There will be no separate categories, but there will be first, second and third place overall winners who will receive cash prizes of $200, $100 and $50 for their best representation of the theme.

•Entry lineup will begin at 11:30 on a line-up-as-you-show-up basis, with the exception of a few spots saved for bands and horses (if those entries will be participating).

•Santa will make his appearance exclusively in the parade and elves will distribute gift bags along the route in lieu of a personal visit by Santa after the parade as in past years.

•Children will be encouraged to write letters which will be collected by the elves along the route for Santa to read before Christmas.

•The parade will be televised live on Lake TV.

•The Marine Corps League Honor Guard will lead the parade.

•The Grand Marshal will not be a person, but will emphasize the spirit of gratitude for essential workers. This concept is still evolving, and creative ideas are welcome.

•While parade organizers are awaiting word on the horses and the band, parade participants are asked to follow the theme, and that music and action are what make a parade. An entry can be as simple as a family, neighborhood or church group riding or walking and provide music or action to liven the crowd.

•The BDSA strongly suggests following CDC guidelines including masks, sanitizing and distancing.

Sponsorships are available. These sponsorships fund the parade and with them each organization will be featured in an ad campaign built around the parade. For details contact Rickie Smith of Lake TV at 573-434-3552 or rickie@mylaketv.com

And remember: No Santa suits, but hats are okay. Only one Santa appears in this parade, and he and his entourage will be the finale of the parade. For more details, contact Mike Page 573-280-4589, email pagestoresllc@sbcglobal.net; or Loretta Srch, 573-793-6914, lorettasrch@windstream.net.

Comments, suggestions, volunteers and sponsors are welcome. The next BDSA meeting is 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Willmore Lodge.

The Lake West Chamber of Commerce will also hold its annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 28th, 2020. The Parade Route begins at 6:00 at the Central Bank Lake of the Ozark – Laurie Branch and travels through Laurie ending at the Laurie Terrace Mall. Unfortunately due to COVID safety precautions, Santa won’t be able to meet with the kids at the Mall this year.