The 12th annual Christmas tree lighting and Parade of Lights is slated to light up Main Street this Tuesday evening.
This year’s parade marshals are all company owners who worked together to restore and move the Mercy Train. David and Mike Brady with Brady Welding and Machine Shop, Mike Voorhes and Jerry McMahon with Overland Corporation, and Chris Taylor with Jett Material Handling, will lead the parade in a horse-drawn carriage.
Susan Yeager, chair of Ardmore Main Street’s promotional committee, said about 75 groups have signed on to participate in the parade.
“When it started, it was handled by a couple of individuals who just thought it would be cool to have a parade at night,” Yeager said. “Then Ardmore Main Street got involved and in the last few years it’s really grown.”
She said picking the parade marshals usually takes more deliberation, but this year the choice was obvious.
“We try to think of people who’ve contributed to the community over the years, but because of the Mercy Train we were just like ‘Oh yeah, these guys need to be the grand marshals this year,” Yeager said.
The parade will begin after the annual Ardmore tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.
 “We have different organizations that are creating floats and all the bands from the local high schools have all signed up,” Yeager said.
The parade route will proceed from Central Park to Caddo Street, where the Mercy Train is now located, then back up Broadway Street. Yeager said the parade should take about an hour.
“Sometimes we get people who want to sign up last minute and our answer is always ‘yes.’ It’s a really fun time,” Yeager said.
Extra entries can always be tacked onto the end of the procession the day before the parade.
Yeager said it’s important to follow the block marshals’ guidance and stay alert, especially when people on the floats start handing out candy and kids get a little rowdier.
“Please mind the block marshals, and hand out your candy, don’t throw,” Yeager said.