Brandi Woodall, events coordinator for parade organizing group Friends of Olde Downtowne, announced Gov. Bill Haslam's role in the Dec. 7 parade alongside co-marshals Congressman Phil Roe, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Phil Carriger, City Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin, Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge and University of Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. East Tennessee State University President Brian Noland may participate depending on his recovery from injuries sustained in an auto accident this week.
The new route will lead floats from State of Franklin Road to East Main Street through downtown, turn left on Buffalo Street, then right on West Walnut and continue to ETSU.
Parade spectators will be encouraged to take part in the college's second annual Winter Celebration.
Woodall said last year's parade saw 92 floats, and she expects this year for about the same number to participate.
This is the first year in at least two decades that the holiday event has graced Walnut Street. It was held near the Johnson City Mall in the 1980s, then moved downtown, but has never run by the Walnut businesses.