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PC prepares for Christmas parade

It is that time of the year, when children line the streets to see Santa Claus and small towns transform into winter wonderlands. Phil Campbell will welcome all young or young at heart, naughty or nice, to its annual Christmas parade Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m.

The parade will begin at Phil Campbell High School and travel down the main road in town, Broad Street, before turning around in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot and making its way back up the street to the school. Broad Street will be blocked off from the railroad crossing to city hall.

“I love the floats and seeing everyone come out,” said Phil Campbell city clerk Ann Bragwell. “And Santa Claus is always a big hit, too.”

Phil Campbell Mayor Steve Bell will reprise his role again this year as Santa Claus. Bell grows out his hair and bleaches it white to emulate Santa Claus.

“We really do have the best Santa around,” Bragwell said, “and he looks like him, too.”

This will be Bell’s ninth year as Santa Claus and his eighth year as Santa in Phil Campbell.

“I just love seeing all of the smiling faces,” Bell said.

Santa will also be in Phil Campbell Memorial Park directly after the parade if any children want to stop by and see him. Bell said he will be there until he is able to meet with any child who wants to come by.

Bragwell said she is unsure if Mrs. Claus will make an appearance as well. Sometimes Mrs. Claus decides to show up, but it is always a surprise.

Bragwell said she anticipates cars, church floats, floats with youth cheerleaders and football players and a performance from the Phil Campbell High School band to all be part of the parade.

Bell said his favorite part of the Christmas parade is getting to see so many people.

“There are a lot of people who you might only see at this time of year or at these events, so we love getting to see everybody,” Bell said.