By Brittni Henderson
Smithfield’s All-Lit-Up Christmas parade will be back for its fourth ride on Saturday, December 7th at 4pm. The parade will begin at Smithfield High School; continue down Pleasant View Avenue, heading towards Deerfield Drive. The numerous floats and displays make their way up Lisa Ann Drive, towards Lucille Drive, and eventually onto Austin Avenue. Upon completion, the Christmas tree on the Village Green will be lit for the first time amongst the sound of holiday music ringing through the air.
The parade’s procession is possible due to the hard work of volunteer committee members, including co-chairs Representative Thomas Winfield and Kate McAdam-Prickett from the Smithfield Senior Center. Other volunteers include Captain Ken Brown, Chief Bob Seltzer, Dorothy Swain, Ann Marie Donahue, Charlie Walsh, Karen Armstrong and Robert Caine.
In honor of this year’s parade landing on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, two Veterans have been named Grand Marshals. Alonzo “Lonnie” Thurber and Robert “Bob” Buonacorsi will he joined by another special guest, Noah Antunes, who has been named Junior Grand Marshal for this parade. Antunes is currently undergoing treatment for Burkitt Lymphoma and became a local celebrity as he was welcomed home from the hospital with his own parade of supporters in October.
Last year’s parade had over 60 participants and twice as many spectators as the previous year. This year is expected to have a similar turn out, with more cheer than ever before. Also returning in this year’s parade is the winner of the “What Christmas Means to Me” essay competition. The winner of this contest will be crowned the Illuminator of the parade and is assigned a special vehicle to ride upon for the day. The winning writer also has the great honor of illuminating the Christmas tree.
One of biggest and most exciting raffles to support the parade is the Snowball Drop Raffle, which was held on November 16, 2019. This involved selling 500 numbered golf balls and coinciding raffle tickets. The golf balls were dropped from a ladder on a Smithfield Fire Truck and those that landed on the bullseye won the corresponding dollar amount, either $100, $200, or $300. The winners were announced on Facebook.