Sunray residents and visitors will have a new holiday event this year: the Sunray Christmas Lights Parade. Put on by the Sunray Lions Club to benefit the Sunray Resource Center, the parade starts at the Ag Producers parking lot on 3rd and Main Streets at 6:30 pm December 2 and ends at the fire station, where the Christmas tree will be lit and Santa Claus will be on hand for pictures with children.
The Lions are starting what they hope will be an annual tradition for Sunray. It is the brain child of Sunray Lion Kelby Sharp. "I had been going to that one in Amarillo for a while," he said. "Dalhart had one last year that I went to, so I decided I would try to get this one going this year."
Sharp says the response from people wanting to enter the parade has been greater than he had anticipated. So far there are 16 entrants, and people are still calling wanting to take part. Originally, there was a November 22 deadline for entry, but Sharp says he is going to waive it. "This being the first year, I would hate for people to miss out," he said. "I would like to have an idea by Wednesday, though, but I am playing it by ear."
Sharp says there are people decorating combines, trucks and trailers, and floats getting ready for the trip down Main Street and the battle for the $100 first prize in the competition for who has the best lights. The 2nd place winner will walk away with $75 and 3rd place $50. Sharp says anyone else who wants to enter should call him at 806-930-2317. The entry fee for non-profit organizations is $25 and $40 for businesses. Parade participants have to have a Christmas theme, and they have to be lit up or glow in the dark. The proceeds will go to help the Sunray Resource Center move into a new building. The Sunray Resource Center is a food bank, according to Sharp.
In addition to providing the prize money for the event, the Lions will have their own float featuring Sweetheart Leslie Mendoza.
Unlike the Sunray Funday Parade, Sharp says throwing candy from floats will be prohibited during the Christmas Lights Parade.
Finally, since the official Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the parade and at the fire station posing for pictures with children, Sharp asks that no unofficial live Santa be on a float.