Rain is in the forecast, but the Christmas parade is scheduled to go on as usual at 6 p.m. according to Mt. Juliet Parks and Recreation Director Jay Cameli.
“It would be a game time decision,” said Cameli of the possibility of cancelling. The city has discussed it, but they decided to move ahead with the plans for this weekend. He said it would have to be a complete wash out to end up cancelling it.
“Weather permitting, it will be a great parade,” said Cameli.
Cameli said the committee that organizes the parade each year wanted to do something different for the 40th anniversary of the city. They had talked about a night parade after last year’s, and it just seemed like a perfect fit since this was a special year.
Since this is the first year in a long time that Mt. Juliet Road is construction free, the parade route will be a lot longer this year. It will cover three miles, starting at the First Baptist Church of Mt. Juliet, and ending at the Mt. Juliet Middle School.
There were 42 floats signed up as of Tuesday morning, and Cameli expected that they could get around 20 or more before the parade, based on phone calls and messages he had received.
The Grand Marshal of the parade will be country music star Darryl Worley, who is a Wilson County resident.
Cameli said that either of the middle schools, churches or businesses would be good places to set up and watch the parade. The parade will end at Mt. Juliet Middle School, where the stage will be set up.
North Mt. Juliet Road will be closed to all traffic starting at 6 p.m. from Northwest Rutland Road to the intersection of Sunset Drive.
The parade float staging and participant drop off will take place at First Baptist Church of Mt. Juliet from 2 to 5 p.m., so expect extra traffic during that time.
The parade ending and participant pick up will take place at Mt. Juliet Middle School from 8 to 10 p.m., and will also have increased traffic.
Cameli said Mt. Juliet Police Department Sergeant Tyler Chandler has done an excellent job of going over all the safety precautions of the parade, and the team will be ready to go for Saturday.