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Christmas parade in East Tallassee

Parade routes discussed

By Michael Butler

There are two big parades that the citizens of Tallassee look forward to each year; the Tallassee High School Homecoming Parade and Tallassee Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade.

In recent weeks, the routes for each have been brought to the attention of the organizers. Both parades travel across the Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge.

Matthew Higgins is in his first year as Tallassee Police Chief, but he has been a specatator at the parades for years.

"The homecoming parade is a school function. The Christmas parade is more of a city thing," Higgins said. "All we do is access what they want as a route. My only concern is holding up the bridge any longer than we need to with traffic and hindering emergency vehicles, plus going from parade speed to highway speed with kids on back of trucks."

The safety of kids is Tallassee High School Principal Matt Coker's primary concern as well.

"My issue is having all of our kids going across the bridge and everyone trying to get back over here," Coker added. "It's dangerous. At the end of the day, we have to do what's right for the safety of everybody."

Coker is considering a new route for the high school's parade, although no decision has been finalized. The new route would be from the high school along King Street to Ann Avenue and back down Barnett Boulevard in front of the school turning onto Gilmer Avenue, concluding at J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium.

"If it ends at the football stadium, we could leave the floats in the parking lot for the game."

Coker also noted that there would be more parking availability for those needing rides after the parade. The homecoming parade's current route concludes at the East Tallassee Shopping Center. The route is different than the Christmas parade which begins on the Tallapoosa County side of Tallassee at the East Tallassee Church of Christ and ends on the Elmore County side in front of the high school.

Tallassee Chamber of Commerce Director Michone Roye stated that no changes will be made with the Christmas parade.

"It will run as usual. It will be on the first Saturday in December. It will begin at 10 a.m," she said. "We have some issues with gaps in our parade. We've come up with some ways to avoid the gaps because it makes the parade take too long. I think we have a really good parade, and I want to be able to keep it that way."

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