Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is the 22nd-annual HOme for the HOlidays Nighttime Parade.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
It’s not the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but for Ormond Beach, it's as close as we're going to get.
The 22nd Annual HOme for the HOlidays Nighttime Parade is coming to town Saturday, Dec. 8. But many of the floats involved are barely more than bare trailers at the moment. And a few float makers don't expect to see a finished product until just a couple hours before start time.
“I've been gathering all of my sparkly goods and getting ready,” Lara Yancey said. “It’s going to be a lot of coffee and late nights.”
Yancey, whose family owns Yancey Music Center, at 601 S. Yonge St., said she attended last year’s parade and thought there should be more floats, so she signed up
Her float, she says, will be a “great big sparkly mess,” and it will include a live band, made up of herself, her brother, Daniel, and friend Eddy Davis.
They plan to play Christmas songs, with rock 'n' roll flavor. The float will be on an eight-foot-by-four-foot trailer, hitched to a Dodge 1500.
For the Ormond Beach Pride, however, the Yanceys' float is small potatoes. The team will use something much larger to pull their float: a semitruck.
After entering a 20-foot float last year, the group decided to expand. This year’s entry will include an ice skating rink, two snowmen and a ski slope. At least that’s what was discussed Dec. 2, at a planning meeting held in the truck yard at Daytona Wrecker.
The semitruck and 70-foot trailer were donated by Mark McNamara and Daytona Wrecker, and the budget for the float was “negotiable.”
“Our goal is to have some fun,” Dustin Banks said. “And to make sure its safe and that the kids are having fun.”
Because the Pride’s float is so big — there’s no covered place to keep it — the group can’t begin construction until a day or two before the parade, in fear of rain or other weather ruining their work.
Banks said the the city initially said the float was too big, but allowed it after learning McNamara, who has donated the same trailer for a past float, was involved, and that a professional was going to be behind the wheel.
For the past 21 years, this parade has been part of the way Ormond Beach celebrates the holidays.
“Basically the only way we know the seasons have changed is that they put decorations on the light polls,” Yancey said. “We do the best we can to replicate the season.”
She said her store has been indirectly involved in previous parades, as well. It’s the place the marching band members go to for last-minute items, like gloves.
“There’s a lot of heart into it,” Yancey said. “All the marching bands and families come out.”
Sitting on the Pride’s float, and walking beside it, will be roughly 70 football players and cheerleaders. They’re the ones, Banks said, who the float is really for.
“You can’t fail terribly,” he said. “But you want to succeed.”
If you go
The HOme for the HOlidays Nighttime Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Division Avenue and U.S. 1. It will head north to Granada Boulevard, turn east on Granada Boulevard to Beach Street and turn south on Beach Street in front of City Hall.