The clouds parted and the rain stopped...it turned into a beautiful, sunny Saturday that greeted entries as the crowds gathered to watch the
annual West Plains Chamber Of Commerce Christmas Parade. "The West Plains High School Football Team"served as the official Grand Marshals to lead the
"Unwrap the Magic" parade at 2:00 p.m. All Bands participating in the parade were sponsored by
Don's Auto Service, Ozarks Medical Center, and Rental Supply.
Entries that chose to be included in the judging process were graded on originality, workmanship and relevance to the theme. The judges' top picks were:
- The $350 Ramona Heiney-State Farm Insurance Overall Grand Prize awarded to Girls Scout Troop 71260.
- The $300 AirMedCare Network 1st Place Commercial Prize awarded to Outpost Motorsports.
- The $200 3 C's Studio & Flower Market 2nd Place Commercial Prize awarded to AirMedCare Network.
- The $300 Brown Furniture 1st Place Religious Prize awarded to Shilo Baptist Church.
- The $200 Gammill Quilting Systems 2nd Place Religious Prize awarded to China Union Church.
- The $300 West Plains Optimist Club 1st Place Miscellaneous Prize awarded to 37th Judicial CASA.
- The $200 Community First Banking Company 2nd Place Miscellaneous Prize awarded to Heart of the Ozarks Bluegrass Association.
Chamber Executive Director, Jessica Collins, offered praise for the volunteers, sponsors and contributors. "It is their involvement that makes this event a reality for so many to enjoy", adding, "This year's Parade sponsors also included: Hirsch Feed & Farm Supply, Kalista Beauty & The Woods, Landmark Bank, Heritage Tractor Inc., Mega Motorsports, Ozarks Coca Cola, Penmac Staffing Services, Southern Bank, Towne & Country Lighting and West Plains Occupational & Insurance Physicals.
Collins thanked everyone at Heritage Tractor Inc. and Mega Motorsports for the use of their off-road vehicles. "It is not feasible to run the parade without the use of these vehicles...these businesses come through for us year after year!" Collins also thanked all those who entered floats in the parade and noted; "A special thanks has to go out to the West Plains Police and Fire Departments, all area Emergency Services, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Howell County Sheriff's Department and the West Plains City Workers. Their dedication to this event ensures everyone's safety". "Thank you to the 1138th Army National Guard for providing the color guard, the Boys Scouts of Troop 61 for carrying banners and the volunteers working in the parade". Collins added "The crowd attendance was fantastic; we thank the community for their continued support of this annual event, West Plains is truly a great place to be!"