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Christmas Parade announces grand marshals

VALLEY — Healthcare workers have been widely hailed as the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. During surges of the deadly virus, they risked their lives every day comforting those who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and struggling to save lives in the ICU.

In appreciation for what they have done this year, the healthcare workers at EAMC-Lanier Hospital in Valley are being honored as the grand marshals in this year’s Valleywide Christmas Parade.

A representative of these professionals will be in the lead vehicle when the parade pulls out of the Cherry Valley Shopping Center parking lot at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Entries are still being taken for the parade. Contact Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount at (334) 756-5281 for details. There’s a $35 fee to enter, but it drops to $30 with the donation of five canned goods. The canned goods will be evenly distributed to the Christian Service Center, the Interfaith Food Closet and the West Point Food Closet to help feed the needy during the holidays.

Sheriff Sid Lockhart and local mayors Steve Tramell of West Point, Kyle McCoy of Lanett and Leonard Riley of Valley will be riding up near the front of the parade. A panel of judges will pick winning floats in the business, community and school divisions. The Valley High Band will be in the parade, and it’s hoped that more local bands will be making commitments to be in it.

The parade will exit the parking lot between the shopping center and Bluffton Funeral Services and head north along West 4th Avenue past the post office and the home office of Batson-Cook and turn right on West 10th Street at Point University, where the route will go one block before taking another right in front of the West Point office of Capital City Bank.

From there, it’s a straight shot through downtown West Point, past the Lanett Mill site, Kroger, CVS and across the Overhead Bridge toward Valley. The route will cross the I-85 bridge into Valley and will keep going along Highway 29 past Bradshaw-Chambers County Library until it disbands in the parking lot outside Valley Walmart.