A Mount Juliet Christmas
The Mount Juliet Christmas Parade is a well-known MJ tradition. From Christmas lights to fanciful floats, the Christmas Parade in Mount Juliet has been a beloved event for many years. An event this size requires meticulous preparations ranging from police involvement to tight guidelines for floats.
The Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade began back in 1972 when the town of Mt. Juliet was first incorporated. When asked who started the parade, Jennifer Diekmann from Mt. Juliet Parks and Recreation said:
“It was a group of volunteers that began the parade. The names of these people are not known. Throughout the years there have been several organizations that played a part in putting on the parade.”
The parade went from a few volunteers to the responsibilities being turned over to the Chamber of Commerce. In 2000, the city of Mt. Juliet was fully responsible for the parade.
Registration for the parade began November 1 and plans are now coming together for the big day. The parade typically has 70-80 floats. This number was affected last year, as the parade had some difficulties getting started so the float count ended up being about 45 floats. Not only can people in the parade be on a float, but as long as you have paid the $10 fee to be in the parade, you can also walk or drive a car.
The citizens of Mt. Juliet are excited and ready for the parade to commence. MJHS student Ali Cole ('23) says:
“The parade is so thrilling and exciting. Since there are so many aspects to the parade, you could never be bored. The floats are so fun and I love how the participants toss candy out to the spectators.”
Not only is this event fun for spectators, but participants are having fun as well. Tania Woods and Ellie Rose McAnally, both seniors at Mt. Juliet High School, discussed their experiences with being in the parade. Woods expressed how although it was cold, the parade was altogether a great experience. The parade is not only for a good time, as it provides a large amount of exposure for their teams. Woods and McAnally both expressed how important the parade is to interact with the community and how it brings great awareness about their programs.
Tania Woods and her Dance team participating in the Christmas parade on a float.
On December 10th, 2022, get ready for this year’s “Golden Christmas” themed parade. The rescheduled date, in case of unforeseen events, is December 17th. The parade’s events are in this order: the parade staging, the float judging, the closing off of Mt. Juliet Road, a moment of silence in honor of Rowan Ace Frensley and then the official beginning of the parade. The parade will travel from Mt. Juliet League off of Lebanon Road to East division Street, and then off of North Mt. Juliet Road.
There will be a small memorial for Rowan Ace Frensley. Frensley tragically passed away at the end of the 2019 Christmas Parade, leading to a great shock in the community. A volunteer at a local church, Eric Moreno, told The Tennessean:
“This was a tragic accident, but we know now that Rowan is no longer suffering.”
To honor and remember him, the parade will begin with a moment of silence.