Lake Ozark Christmas Parade

The Bagnell Dam Strip Association announces the 37th annual Christmas Parade along the Bagnell Dam Boulevard at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11.

The theme “90th Bagnell Dam Christmas” celebrates the milestones of Missouri’s 200 years of statehood, a cause of much celebration throughout the year; and the 90th anniversary of the completion of Bagnell Dam creating Lake of the Ozarks in 1931 which, along with Willmore Lodge, represents Lake of the Ozarks on the National Register of Historic Places.

With the Bagnell Dam bridge road under repair, growth of residents and new business and proposed development, the parade gives cause to reflect on the past, experience the present, and envision the future in these important Lake of the Ozarks and Missouri moments.

In the event that Bagnell Dam remains closed, an alternate parade exit will utilize Valley Road just before the dam and circle back to Bagnell Dam Blvd. The most recent estimate is that the dam could be closed until late December.

And who could be a better parade Grand Marshal than a man who has seen changes of 10 decades unfold in this landscape -- Tennyson A. DeGraffenreid. His ties to Lake Ozark and Bagnell Dam are many. A 1939 School of the Osage graduate, T.A holds claim as the oldest living alumnus, born Feb. 14, 1921. His grandfather and father worked on the crew building the dam (for 35 cents an hour). At the age of 10, Tennyson’s aunts, Oma and Noma, drove the first vehicle across the Bagnell Dam on its opening day May 31, 1931. He was to be in the back seat, but they left without him.

DeGraffenreid, with a lifelong fondness for steam and diesel engines and their workings, retired after a 33-year career with Union Electric as supervisor of the control room of the Bagnell Dam operation. Alongside his career and with one brother John, DeGraffenreid owned the historic White House and several other buildings along Bagnell Dam Boulevard. The DeGraffenreid brothers sold their investment property the spring of 2013 before John died that November.

Following tradition, the Marine Corps League Honor Guard will present the colors and lead the parade of floats and boats, music, horses and various vehicles decked out with holiday flair. Alongside, because of a recent city ordinance, walkers will distribute candy and trinkets from the entries, with Santa Claus, his reindeer and elves last to greet the crowd in the parade finale.

The parade will line up on Rt. 242 and kick off at the junction of Horseshoe Bend Parkway/Rt. 242 and Bagnell Dam Boulevard. Entries are available at www.lakechristmasparade.com. There is a $25 fee allowing entry into the judging which is split into three categories of prizes: Civic, Business and Youth (K-12 and Church Groups). Prizes are $100 for each category and $200 for Best Depiction of Theme.

After the parade, Santa and his entourage will settle in at The BEAM Lighthouse in Luby’s Plaza to greet the children, hear their wishes and send them on their way with a gift bag. The Sweets Table is back this year in Luby’s Plaza as well to warm tummies with hot chocolate or coffee and delectable cookies and treats.

Bring your family and meet your neighbors, old and new, individuals and businesses celebrating the heritage of our area this 90th Bagnell Dam Christmas.

For more information and entry form: www.lakechristmasparade.com.

nfo for sidebar:

37th Lake of the Ozarks Christmas Parade 2021

Saturday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m.

11:30 – line-up

Theme: 90th Bagnell Dam Christmas

Grand Marshal: Tennyson A. DeGraffenreid

$25 parade entry fee          

Prizes: $100 for each category, $200 for Best Depiction of Theme.

Santa will visit with children after parade at The BEAM Lighthouse in Luby’s Plaza

Sweets Table

For more information and entry form: www.lakechristmasparade.com

Or Contact: Rickie Smith rickie@mylaketv.com, 573-434-3552 or Lagina Fitzpatrick lagina@funlake.com, 573-348-0111.