This year's Christmas Parade changes course

This year's Bi-City Christmas parade route has been totally changed. The parade, scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 8, will begin and end in Phenix City, said Holli Browder, recreation specialist with the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.

"The parade will be in reverse," she said.

The route begins in Phenix City at the Dillingham Street Bridge. The parade will cross the Chattahoochee River into Columbus and turn right on Front Avenue. Then the parade will turn left on Ninth Street and go to First Avenue, where it will head north to 13th Street. The parade will then go west on 13th Street, go over the 13th Street Bridge back into Phenix City and end at the Central Activities Building, 1500 14th St.

"It is a little bit longer," Browder said of the route. "There will be a lot more room for people to see the parade. Instead of people bunched up on Broadway in Columbus, there is more room along First Avenue and I think 13th Street will be a great place to watch the parade."

The decision to start the parade at the Dillingham Street Bridge was made because of the road work being done on Broad Street in Phenix City and Broadway in Columbus, Browder said.

"We hope that will work," Browder said. "We're keeping our fingers crossed. I really think it will give people more places to see the parade."

Both bridges will close to vehicular traffic at 9:30 a.m. Times for the street closings have yet to be set, she said.

Browder warns that people need to get downtown earlier to see the parade.

"The parade will be in Columbus sooner this year," she said. "It's coming through Columbus first. So you've got to get yourself up out of bed earlier to see the parade."

Browder said the deadline for schools and groups to have a float or to march in the parade is Nov. 23.

Call Browder for details at 706-576-5475.