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Lighted Christmas parade to delight

The Bainbridge Christmas Parade will fill Shotwell Street and downtown Bainbridge with the joy and sentiments of the holiday season on Dec. 10.

The parade, which will begin at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Shotwell Street and Wheat Avenue, will proceed west on Shotwell Street before turning right on Broad Street and then left on Water Street. After turning right again on West Street, it will end at River Plaza Shopping Center.

The pride of Bainbridge, the Bainbridge High School Marching Band, will entertain people as they watch the festivities.

Ramsay Simmons Jr. will serve as the parade’s grand marshal.

Simmons was born and raised in Bainbridge and attended the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a degree in business. While in Athens, Ramsay met his future wife, Peggy.  Peggy and Ramsay have five children and 10 grandchildren, and enjoy spending as much time with them as possible.

When he takes a break from working at Elberta Crate and Box Company, the business that his grandfather started, Simmons travels to St. George Island with his family, reveling in offshore fishing expeditions. Semi-retired, Simmons continues to be a leader in the community, having participated in a myriad of boards and civic groups, including Rotary Club, Park Avenue Bank board, YMCA board, Decatur County School board, and the Bainbridge Decatur County Chamber of Commerce.

The grand marshal will be riding in the 2009 Christmas Parade with nearly 100 other floats this year.

Along with the floats will be local pageant winners, businesses and a range of civic groups will participate in the parade.

The city restarted the parade in 2000 and has grown with each passing year, boasting more than 100 lighted floats in recent years. As always, Santa Claus is expected to bring up the rear end of the parade riding on a Public Safety fire truck.

Groups who wish to enter a float in the parade can download an application from www.bainbridgecity.com or pick one up at the Main Street/Tourism office on Broad Street next to City Hall.

Last minute entries or substitutions will not be accepted, according to the application.