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Johnson City Christmas parade gets rolling this Saturday

Jonathan Roberts • Updated Dec 5, 2019 at 10:19 AM

Timing is everything, as the organizers of the annual Christmas parade in Johnson City are well aware.

But sometimes, “schedules and everything” do work out.

When the Budweiser Clydesdales take to the streets on Saturday, it’ll mark the successful conclusion of a years-long quest to bring the famous horses back to the Tri-Cities for the first time since 2013.

“We are really, really excited about the Budweiser Clydesdales being in the parade this year,” said parade chair and organizer Jennifer Clements.

“That has been really exciting and we’ve been glad to partner with Holston (Distributing) — we’ve been trying to get them for a couple of years, and finally the schedules and everything worked out so we’re really excited about that.

“I think it’ll add a whole ’nother level of fun to the parade,” Clements said.

The draft horses, however, aren’t the only new addition to this year’s parade.

After five months of work and hundreds of man hours put into its restoration, the Johnson City Fire Department’s 1928 Seagrave fire truck will make its official debut in the Christmas parade, carrying none other than Santa Claus.

“Really excited about (the Seagrave),” Clements said. “That’s really exciting to have that small piece of history for the 150th birthday (of Johnson City) and in the parade, and it’s exciting to see how that’s all been kind of tied together.”

The theme for this year’s parade is “Johnson City — Past, Present and Future.”

“We picked the theme this year to try and coincide with the city’s 150th birthday, kind of to commemorate (the birthday),” Clements said.

The marching bands from East Tennessee State University and Science Hill High School will also march in this year’s parade, something Clements said was “always exciting” and “brings a lot of energy.”

The parade will kick off Saturday at 10:30 a.m., where it’ll begin its route from the corner of University Parkway and State of Franklin Road. For more information on the parade, visit www.jcchristmasparade.org.

“The Christmas parade is the highlight of my year, I love the Christmas parade” Clements said. “I think it’s so wonderful for the community to come together and just celebrate the season and all the wonderful things in this community that we have.” 

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