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Haughton to get own Christmas parade, festival

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This holiday season will merry and bright in the town of Haughton.

The town will host its first ever Christmas festival and parade on December 16, 2017. It’s especially exciting for Haughton resident Tarrah Dobbins. A Facebook post she made last fall sparked interest among the community and prompted the start of this journey.

Town leaders, however, rejected Dobbins’  request and proposed plan for a Christmas parade last year due to safety concerns and health reasons.  She admits it was a set back, but she didn’t give up.

The new year came and brought new elected officials with it. She prepared another presentation for the town council earlier this month, this time including a one-day festival with parade and a festival pageant.

It was the fresh start she needed. The town council approved all three events at their Feb. 15 meeting.

“We are excited to begin this journey of bringing you, the Town of Haughton, an event that will certainly light up your day,” Dobbins posted on the Christmas in Haughton Facebook page following the vote.

There’s a lot of work to do over the next nine months, but Dobbins is determined to make this the best Christmas ever for her town.

“This is one full day of people coming together and enjoying each others company,” she said. “It’s something I want the kids to enjoy and grow up with and have memories of.”

One thing that will need to be resolved is the parade route, a big reason why it failed last year. Luckily, there’s plenty of time to find a solution.

“The parade route is still an issue, but we are going to work on that throughout the year,” Dobbins said. “We have the new middle school coming so we don’t know how things are going to change with that. We’re just going to take it one day at a time. We will find a parade route.”

A festival pageant will be held several weeks before the festival date. Dobbins said this will allow queens to not only reign at the festival and ride in the parade, but also represent Haughton at other festivals and holiday events.

For now, Dobbins is securing sponsors and making a vendors list. Official paperwork will be released closer to the festival date.

Those interested in being a vendor, sponsor or parade participant can e-mail christmasinhaughton@gmail.com or visit the official Christmas in Haughton Facebook page.