Freeman and City of Joplin unveil Christmas Parade plans

50th annual parade scheduled for December 1st.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System and the City of Joplin unveil plans for the 50th annual Joplin Christmas Parade.

This year’s theme is “Cruisin’ to Christmas,” to fit with the way the parade will work this year. Instead of working like a traditional parade would, it will be a drive-thru parade, where the floats will be stationary instead of driving down Main street.

“People can be safe in their cars, but still entities and individuals and floats can enter the parade and have their normal festivities. So to me, it seems like a perfect balance under these extraordinary circumstances,” says Paula Baker with Freeman Health System.

Residents will be invited to cruise down main street to see the floats and get in the Christmas spirit.

The parade route starts with drivers entering at 20th and Main, with floats being on the sides of the street from 15th Street to Third Street. Santa will be at the end of the parade beside Spiva Park.

Another big change due to the pandemic is that candy and handouts will not be permitted during the parade, to limit contact between participants and residents.

“We will not be throwing out candy just in an abundance of caution,” says Baker. “However, we are going to encourage families to load up your car with snack, hot coco, a thermos of coffee, whatever you family will enjoy so you can still enjoy those treats, but it just wouldn’t be safe this year to throw out the candy has we typically do.”

The parade is slated for December 1st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

To enter the parade, it costs $15 dollars for a non-profit organization and $50 for a for-profit organization. Schools and bands can enter for free.

Funds generated from he parade will go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.