Rain or shine, the City of Destin’s 34th annual Christmas Parade is ready to roll out this Saturday at 10 a.m.
But before the floats and marching bands hit U.S. Highway 98 through Destin, the community has showed its generosity.
In lieu of parade entry fees, the city for the past decade has requested either food or toy donations to be distributed to children and families in the area.
This year, the call was for toys — and the community answered.
“The generosity of the people has been incredible,” said Helen Donaldson, chairwoman of the parade committee.
“We don’t tell them what to get … but it is unbelievable,” she said.
“We have everything from bicycles to baby dolls,” she said.
The toys were picked up by Village Baptist Church and will be part of its Angel Tree Ministry, said Lisa Firth, deputy parks and recreation director.
“The toys will make Christmas a happy one for local children,” Firth said.
“I’m glad we’re doing it that way,” said Firth, referring to the city's request for donations in lieu of an entry fee.
The parade, which boasts more than 75 entries, will begin at the Downtown Destin Shopping Center and travel west down U.S. 98 to Stahlman Avenue. Spectators should stand on the north side of U.S. 98 to watch the parade.
The parade is rain or shine.
“A little rain won't stop it,” Donaldson said.
However, if there's a thunderstorm, the parade is off with no rescheduling.
“We don’t want to put any lives in danger,” Donaldson said.