While Melissa had the unfortunate task of canceling its Christmas parade on Dec. 7 due to severe weather, Anna’s forecast looks much brighter. On Saturday, the city will host a Centennial celebration and Christmas extravaganza all on the same day.
Organizers have planned an all-day festival for Saturday, Dec. 14, to celebrate Christmas and the 100 year anniversary of the incorporation of Anna.
It’s always best to party on a full stomach and the organizers have abided with Breakfast with Santa at Rattan Elementary from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
It’s best not to linger too long around the breakfast table, however, as the city’s traditional Christmas parade takes to the streets at 10 a.m. The parade will roll out from Anna Middle School onto Highway 5 and proceed south to a left turn on 4th St and end at Riggins. Organizers are hoping to get as many as 35 parade float entries and those entries are eligible for first, second or third place prizes as top floats. The Grand Marshall of the parade will be 91-year-old Doris Howell, longtime resident and author of her own column for The Anna-Melissa Tribune. The theme of this year’s parade is "Down Home Country Christmas."
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will also be a car show at the Malt Shop, this one a "Show and Shine," meaning cars will be displayed for viewing pleasure only.
The festival itself will be a treat for young and old as it runs throughout the day in the heart of downtown. Organizers have confirmed 50 arts and crafts dealers, food vendors and community partners, all of whom are required to have kid-friendly activities planned. There will be some truly unique booths and activities as evidence by the live bear (don’t worry, he will be caged.)
There will also be a special Kid’s Zone. This part of the festival can be accessed by a bracelet which costs $5. This is a good spot to mention the beneficiaries of this year’s festivities. Proceeds from this event will go to help out Anna’s House and The Samaritan Inn, Collin County’s only homeless shelter. Donations of cold and flu medications, diapers and sanitizing wipes are also requested.
Live music is planned on two stages. Confirmed acts include Rory Payne, Keith Owens, the Matt Nix Band, Katie Lamb, celtic band The Selkie Girls and even a show put on by Dance Time.
Since this will be a birthday party there will be cake. Brookshire’s of Anna is providing the cake for the Centennial Celebration, as well as 1,000 cupcakes. Cutting the cake will be longtime Anna business owner Betty Noe.
A big development for this celebration — and one organizers can’t stop raving about — will be the opening of the Sherley Bros. museum for the festival. This museum is generally open only by appointment and houses some fascinating items from yesteryear. Pictures with Santa will also be hosted at the museum. Sherley Bros. museum is located at 101 N. Sherley St.
The Centennial Celebration and festival is sponsored by The City of Anna, the Greater Anna Chamber of Commerce (GACC) and the newly-formed Friends of Anna. For more information call the Chamber at 972-924-8533.