The third annual Main Street/APS Electric Light Parade will bear little resemblance to parades past when it motors down Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The biggest change this year is that the parade will go backwards -- starting with the official lighting of the town tree at Green Valley Park and ending at Sawmill Crossing. The decision to reverse the direction of the parade just made sense, according to Marilyn Wolfe, parade chairperson. "It's so cold at the park, and people don't like to hang around for the tree lighting after the parade," she said.
Another change in this year's parade is that it will be much larger than last year.
"So far we have 36 entries, and one of them is the Rim Country Classic Auto Club which is going to bring 17 or 18 cars."
In addition to APS, which traditionally leads the parade, some of the larger entries include Energy West, Mazatzal Casino, Phil White Ford, Wal-Mart and Waste Management. Secretary of State Jan Brewer will serve as grand marshal.
Yet another change this year is that only one Santa Claus will appear in the parade.
"The easiest thing to put on a float is Santa, so we had way too many Santas last year," Wolfe said. "The children were asking questions."
The lone Santa will begin the festivities at 6 p.m. by lighting the town tree. Then, he'll ride in the parade in a red convertible.
Some 3,000 people watched last year's parade, which took top honors in the "Best Special Event" category in the state's Main Street Awards competition.
While the official deadline for entries was Nov. 18, Wolfe said the parade committee will accept late entries if people act quickly. Applications are available online at www.inpayson. com, at Payson Town Hall and at the Main Street office at Green Valley Park.