Saturday morning a local Christmas tradition will be returning to downtown Ardmore when the 42 Annual Southern Oklahoma Children’s Christmas Parade will once again be making its way down Broadway and Main Street.

Joyce Davenport has been a major part of the parade for several years and said parade entries will be starting from the old Walker Stadium near the Greater Southwest Historical Museum at 10:45 a.m. and they anticipate the parade will be closing in on downtown by around 11 a.m.

“We want to be in front of AutoZone by 11 a.m. because KXII will be broadcasting the parade live from that location from 11 to 12,” Davenport said.

Parade organizer Brook Byers said this year the parade will be ending at South Washington instead of continuing on to Caddo as it has in years past.

“We just didn’t feel like it was safe to have the floats and tractors going down the street in places where there is just one lane,” Byers said. “Little kids have a tendency to run out in front of you sometimes and with the narrower roads we felt like it wasn’t a good idea.”

This year’s parade has approximately 50 entries and includes floats, bands and classic cars. However, Byers said car clubs such as the Blue River Car Club, who will be participating, are only counted as one entry — even though they will have numerous cars involved in the parade.

One thing that makes this parade so special is its connection with Toys for Tots. In order to participate in the parade, each entry must either donate either $25 to Toys for Tots or donate a toy with the same approximate value. These toys are then distributed to children in need all across Carter County.