NORMAN, Okla. — The annual Norman Christmas Parade is slated to begin at 5 p.m. this Saturday, running east from Norman High School along Main Street to Crawford downtown.

According to parade organizers, this is the first evening parade in recent memory, designed to take advantage of new lights strung across Main Street. Participants, who can register by visiting normanchristmasparade.com, are encouraged to incorporate Christmas lights in their entries.

Local business owners Ed and Lin Copelin will join the ranks of Barry Switzer and George and Barbara Henderson as the parade’s grand marshals. Ed, owner of Copelin’s Office Supplies and Copelin’s Kidoodles, is stepping down after a decade at the head of the parade’s planning committee.

“It’s simply an honor. It’s an honor to be among that crowd of prestigious and powerful people. It’s an honor to be recognized in the community because Norman has meant so much to us,” he said.

The community is invited to participate in a special second day of the Second Friday Art Walk after the parade. Santa Claus will also make a special appearance at First Fidelity Bank after the parade ends.

“Although it’s been a long-standing tradition to start Saturday morning with a parade, we’re hoping moving it a little later in the day will allow people to sleep in and then spend a larger portion of the day downtown,” parade organizer Stefanie Brickman said. “Late lunch, dinner, afternoon hot chocolate, some shopping, you name it. The shift to an evening parade should allow floats to be more creative with their displays, as well.”

Participants include multiple high school bands, civic organizations and local businesses. Entries can start lining up at 4 p.m. in the Norman High School. The Sooner Theatre is holding performances of “A Christmas Story” at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday as well.

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