Typically held the second Friday in December, Zachary's City-Wide Open House celebration has always come before the annual Christmas parade - which has always followed on Saturday morning.
However, at the Aug. 14 Zachary City Council meeting, Mayor David Amrhein made the announcement that the long-held and much-loved traditions will be combined this year into one festive evening. "The City of Zachary feels the combination of these two popular holiday events is a chance to bring entire families together on one day for a huge community celebration that kicks off the holiday season," a city press release states.
Amrhein, with the full support of Zachary's department heads and city employees, said festivities will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, with the annual Zachary Christmas parade, a Chamber of Commerce sponsored event.
Floats will begin lining up at 3 p.m. with the parade set to roll by 4 p.m., Amrhein said Tuesday night.
Immediately following the parade, the City-Wide Open House celebration will begin with the annual lighting of the city Christmas tree around 6 p.m., Amrhein said.
"I asked Zachary employees what they wanted to do and they chose to have the annual Christmas festivities combined into one evening," said Amrhein. "They actually wanted to do this last year, but it could not be organized in time."
At a department head meeting held Aug. 13, Amrhein said the decision was made.
Amrhein told Councilmen that city employees have also discussed the possibility of having a night parade in the future. "We would love to hold a night parade, and we're checking into it," Amrhein said. "But there are insurance issues that need to be worked out."
Insurance costs for the annual Christmas parade, about $9,000, are currently split between the City of Zachary and the Zachary Chamber of Commerce.
For more on the Aug. 14 Zachary City Council meeting, please be sure to get your copy of the Zachary Plainsman News out Aug. 22.
For past City Council meeting articles, please visit Zacharytoday.com and search 'Zachary City Council.'