Larry Johnson

For The Record

Carl Svebek, winner of last summer’s Bassmasters Central Open on the Sabine River, will be the Grand Marshal Friday night, Dec. 1, at the 69th Annual Orange Christmas Parade, which begins at 6:15 p.m.

One day later, former Bridge City teacher Moe Litton fills the same role for the Bridge City’s ninth Christmas Light Parade, beginning at 6 p.m.

Look for Jolly Old St. Nick to show up at both events.

Sunday, Dec. 3, the Orange Depot will be the setting for A Christmas Tea from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Service League of Orange hosts its 61st annual Toy Coffee from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at two historic homes at 812 W. Pine Ave., and 806 W. Pine Ave.

Sunday, Dec. 10, a new Orange tradition begins when Santa Stops at the Depot, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Orange Depot.

The Kiwanis Club sponsors the Orange parade and event chairman Shane Johns reminds that the event will follow a this-year-only new route, because of Tropical Storm Harvey.

“The [new] parade route has been the biggest complaint for people,” Johns said.

Historically, the parade entrants have gathered in the Sear’s parking lot on Strickland Drive to begin a parade down Green Avenue that ends at Lamar State College-Orange.

This year’s route will begin at Front and 8th Streets, and circle city hall on a course framed by Green Ave., 1st Street, Front Street and 10th Street.

The parade is being dedicated to the memory of Ben Culpepper, Jr. and will include floats, bands and dance teams from area schools.

“When the Jaycees were unable to do it, Ben and I were the ones who pushed to try to save it,” Johns said. “Unfortunately, it was the last big project Ben and I worked on before his passing.”

Johns admitted that the devastation that hit Orange with Harvey at the end of August is still wearing on the community as the Christmas holidays advance.

“This may not be the most original parade we’re ever put on,” he said. “Half our club is busy rebuilding their homes.

“The club is 100 percent in favor of the parade, though. We’ve got grand plans. But not this year.”

The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of that city’s Christmas Light Parade, announced Tuesday it will accept applications for parade entries through Thursday.

All participants donate toys as their entry fee for the parade. The toys are then distributed through the Bridge City/Orangefield Ministerial Alliance.

“Join us in making a difference in the lives of children in need this Christmas!” its release said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Christmas Toy Drive is asked to call the chamber at 735-5671 for more information.  To download a parade application, visit the Chamber website www.bridgecitychamber.com .

Completed applications can be e-mailed to: bcchamber@bridgecitychamber.com or faxed to: 409-745-6588 or dropped off at the chamber office (after hours, just slide them through the slot in the front door.)

The Bridge City parade route will be down W. Roundbunch Road, from the First Baptist Church to Bridge City Elementary School.

Friends of the Orange Depot host A Christmas Tea, featuring a women’s fashion show presented by Angie Hill McClelland of YaYa Clothing Company and Christmas floral designs by JScott Aflorist.

Both businesses are donating their efforts to the Depot cause.

Special tea and refreshments will be prepared by the Friends of the Depot, with Diana Hill chairing the event.

Tickets are a $25 donation and can be purchased by calling 409-313-1459. Seating is limited.

Loulan Guillot and David Byrd, of 812 W. Pine, will start the Toy Coffee tour of two homes decorated to the nines for Christmas, with the home of David and Kerri Clark 806 W. Pine, to follow.

Admission to the Toy Coffee is an unwrapped toy or cash donation to benefit the Salvation Army.

Santa Stops at the Depot gives area children a chance to get their photo taken sitting on Santa’s lap, for a nominal fee.

Model railroad trains will also be on display.