By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Santa's Parade kicks off Mac's holiday season

Scott Hinchcliff has watched many a Santa’s Parade.

This year, he decided to add his 1936 Ford pickup to the parade lineup, thinking that might be a lot of fun.

He plans to decorate the vehicle he calls a “street rod” and use it to transport members of McMinnville Girl Scout Troop 10132, including his daughter, with his son riding beside him.

The parade is expected to draw 25 to 50 entries. It is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, from the Yamhill County parking lots behind the community center.

From Northeast Fifth and Galloway streets, the route will head east to Irvine, take Irvine to Third Street, head west on Third to Cowls, then north on Cowls to Fourth and return to the staging area. It usually takes about half an hour for the parade to complete the route.

The official entry deadline was 5 p.m. Monday, but McMinnville Downtown Association President Cassie Sollars said last-minute entries would probably be accepted up to the start time.

The parade typically features bands, church groups, equestrian groups, floats, riders, scout groups and walkers. Donkeys, horses, mules and ponies are allowed, but not dogs.

This year’s parade “Star” is McMinnville School District Superintendent Maryalice Russell, who was recently named superintendent of the year by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators. Russell came to McMinnville in 2002 from the Tigard-Tualatin School District.

Sollars, who recently left a position with the News-Register to head the MDA, has been used to watching the parade from the front of the N-R building over the years. She said she also watched the parade with her children when they were young.

“For the residents and for the downtown merchants, what the parade does is kick off the holiday season,” she said. “It’s the starting point for all the fun and joy that is the Christmas season.”

The MDA’s program coordinator, Ginger Williams, organizes the parade with volunteer help.

The U.S. Bank Plaza will once again host Radio Disney.

The day’s activities will conclude at 5 p.m. with a tree lighting walk down Third Street from the Willamette & Pacific Railroad depot to the Cozine House on the corner of Third and Adams.

Residents will be joined by the McMinnville High School Twilighters and Santa in lighting the tree in upper City Park.

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