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31st Annual Bel Air Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting Celebration - December 5, 2021

  1. A. General Outline of the Event
  2. 1. Concert at 2:30 pm on Office Street.
  3. 2. Parade down Main Street and Lee Street at 3:30 pm, to Shamrock Park.
  4. 3. Entrance of Santa; Bonfire; Concert, sing-along with hot chocolate and cookies begins at ±4:00 pm in Shamrock Park and continues while the parade gets there.
  5. 4. Tree Lighting at ±4:45 pm at Town Hall. End of event.
  6. 5. Event will be cancelled if inclement weather is experienced. Cancellation time will be no later than NOON on 12/5. If cancelled, the event will not be rescheduled.
  7. B. Details of the Parade
  8. 1. Participation in the Parade is by ACCEPTANCE OF APPLICATION only, and the specific presentation of the applying unit, including a description of itself and of its performance (SEE BELOW), is key to acceptance, and must be approved in advance.
  9. 2. HOW TO APPLY: Complete and submit this online form. Michael Blum will contact you if there are any questions about your unit.
  10. 3. All Parade participants must report and assemble in the large municipal lot at the intersection of Main Street and Churchville Road, next to BLACK EYED SUZIE’S Restaurant, at ±2:00 pm on the day of the event, where they will be placed in order by the Parade Marshals. PLEASE LOOK FOR A PARADE MARSHAL to put you in the right place!
  11. 4. The actual Parade starts at 3:30 pm and should end by ±4:15 pm.
  12. 5. The Parade route starts where the parking lot debouches onto Main Street; it proceeds past the Courthouse to RIGHT on Lee St. The end of the Parade is the first entrance to Har-Co Federal Credit Union on Lee Street. Note: this is the same as in recent years. All Parade participants will disperse at that point.
  13. 6. All Parade performers are invited to join in the celebration in Shamrock Park, which ends at ±5 pm. This is voluntary.
  14. 7. Prizes will be awarded to various Parade participants; these will be announced at Shamrock Park by the Master of Ceremonies. These prizes are at the sole discretion of the judges, who make their decisions independently.
  15. 8. The Parade features an official Santa and Mrs. Santa. Therefore, there shall be NO OTHER SANTAs or Mrs. Santas in the various procession units. This restriction, of course, does NOT APPLY to costumes that include "Santa accessories" such as Santa hats, Santa skirts, elf shoes, etc.: these are encouraged! Be creative and have a fun time! This is a holiday event, after all, and we want everyone to have a good time!
  16. C. Specific Rules for ACCEPTED Parade Performers and Participants — PLEASE READ THESE VERY CAREFULLY as they have been revised for post-pandemic 2021!
  17. 1. All participants must be costumed or dressed in some sort of a holiday or seasonal way (see above). This includes animals, which, to the extent possible, should be decorated or “accessorized” in keeping with the holiday or Christmas idea!
  18. 2. The Bel Air Christmas Parade is a celebration, and therefore PERFORMANCE is desired from all participants. This means dancing, skipping, jumping, hopping, etc., in some way appropriate for the season (use your imagination!)!
  19. 3. There is to be no walking except by bands, performers, musicians, special guests and costumed characters, or by advance permission. The reason for this is that it is difficult for the audience to see walkers, especially small children. Therefore being up on a float, flatbed, truck bed or other similar function is preferred (but not absolutely required).
  20. 4. A “float” is defined as a trailer or similar thing, towed by a truck. They come in all sizes. All floats must be decorated in a "holiday theme."
  21. 5. No commercial units or entrants are allowed unless they include a performance or display consistent with Rules C. 1-3 above.
  22. 6. Your unit is welcome to have music, and you are welcome to sing as part of your participation, but please be aware that it is very difficult to do so in such a way that the crowd can hear you, in a parade! Most of our “sound” is provided by large marching bands playing brass instruments! However, you can use music for your performance, of course, and many groups do that (jumping rope, hopping or dancing, etc.).
  23. 7. All participants MUST KEEP MOVING at a "walking, marching or hopping" pace; no stopping is allowed in front of the reviewing stand, or anywhere else along the parade route. THIS RULE IS VERY IMPORTANT AND MUST BE OBEYED.
  24. 8. MUTUALLY-RESPECTFUL DECORUM must be maintained at all times. Failure to act in such a way will result in your being ejected from the Parade, and your group may be barred from future participation as well. The same applies to any unit whose conduct, in the sole opinion of the Parade Marshals and Organizers, constitutes a danger to themselves, to other units, to the community, or to public decorum.
  25. 9. PARADE MARSHALS must be obeyed at all times along the way. Failure to obey a Parade Marshal results in immediate ejection from the Parade, and you may be barred from future parade participation as well.
  26. 10. If you have music, please make sure it is playing the whole time; the parade is relatively short in length, and we need you to be “performing” the whole time.
  27. 11. All performing groups must specify in advance and have approved any vehicles that they wish to have accompanying them, necessary to their performance. NO VEHICLE MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE PARADE unless it has been authorized to do so in advance. This is very important for staging and deployment (space is tight!).
  28. 12. All performing groups that use music should attempt in some way to use music that is "holiday,” “Christmas” or seasonal in nature or spirit.
  29. 13. No group or performer may distribute or hand out anything to the crowd without prior permission from the Parade Chairman. Generally, this permission is NOT GRANTED.
  30. 14. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: Monday, November 22, 2021. Any applications received after that date will most likely not be processed.
  31. MASKING PROTOCOLS AND RULES will be as promulgated by the Town of Bel Air, if any, and will be enforced by Parade Marshals and the Bel Air Police Department.
  32. What category of parade unit will you be *
    Check all that apply
  33. If you are marching or performing at street level, does your unit also have a vehicle with it?*
  34. I have read and agree to all the above rules (CONTACT PERSON'S ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE)
  35. All communication will be via e-mail. Please feel free to e-mail Michael with any questions!
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