Parade Returns

Polar Express to visit Crawfordsville on Sunday


The Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the return of the Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Parade spectators can hear commentary from WCDQ’s Dave Peach and presenting sponsor, Michele Hunley, of Michele Hunley and Associates, American Family Insurance, from the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Students in the Western Boone TV and radio media program will also provide live coverage, making the event available virtually for the first time ever.

This year’s theme, The Polar Express, captures the magic of Christmas with inspiration from the 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner book by Chris Van Allsburg and the 2004 animated film by Robert Zemekis starring Tom Hanks. Spectators can expect to see creative interpretations of the theme in the floats and performances, including kids (of all ages) in pajamas waiting for Santa and old-fashioned steam engines headed toward the North Pole.

The 2021 line-up will include a performance by the Montgomery County United Marching Band and Guard, a variety of vehicles from vintage fire trucks and corvettes to classic cars and garbage trucks and adoptable dogs from the Animal Welfare League. Community groups such as boy and girl scout troops, local businesses and the American Legion will march in the parade to pass out candy or ride on decorated floats coordinated with the Polar Express theme.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in both the adult and youth divisions. Winners will be selected by judges representing sponsor businesses, Lakeside Book Company and Acuity Brands, and be presented in front of the courthouse. Parade entries are currently being accepted online at

Following tradition, the parade will conclude with an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. They will ride in a new sleigh handcrafted by Derek Nelson, local hobby woodworker and Wabash College Professor of Religion. Santa will be accompanied by helpers from Delta Theta Tau Sorority, who will collect letters to Santa. Families who wish to receive a letter back from Santa can include the child’s name and mailing address.

This year, there will also be a special opportunity for children to take a picture with Santa. New member of the downtown Crawfordsville business community, Harry’s Hideout, will sponsor free visits with Santa from 4-7 p.m. in the restaurant located across from the courthouse at 101 E. Main St.

Spectators are asked to enjoy the parade along the designated route which includes East Main Street from Vernon Court to Washington Street, along Washington Street from Main to Pike and Pike Street from Washington to Water Street. For safety purposes, candy and other items will be passed out to onlookers along the official route only. No spectators will be permitted in the area surrounding the railroad tracks on East Main. The Chamber will coordinate closely with the City of Crawfordsville and the police department to ensure the safety of all spectators, volunteers and participants during the event.

“The Christmas Parade is one of the long-standing traditions that make our community such a fun place to call home during the holiday season,” said Cassie Hagan, executive director of the Chamber. “With the storefronts and streetlights decorated, businesses coming together to create floats or stay open special hours, it’s really a testament to the way everyone comes together for the youth in the community. Those of us who grew up here remember this as a special occasion, and we are happy to bring it forward for our own kids. I want to thank all of our businesses and community organizations who take the time to prepare and participate each year, as well as the Crawfordsville Police and Street Departments who help to keep everyone safe.”

Anyone interested in entering a performing group or float in the parade may do so online at Volunteers may sign up online at the same website, and one sponsorship opportunity as a parade judge is available as well.

Questions may be directed to Cassie Hagan at


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