Organizers of annual Christmas parade call for community volunteers

For some Lawrence residents, the holiday season doesn’t officially start until the horse-drawn carriages of the Lawrence Old-Fashion Christmas Parade clip-clop down Massachusetts Street.

This year, nearly 100 parade entrants will kick off the holiday season for the Lawrence community at 11 a.m. on Dec. 5.

But organizers of the nation’s largest horse-drawn carriage parade say they need more of the community’s support to help ensure a successful event.

Elaine VanDeventer, the new executive director for the parade, said the event lost its title sponsor this year.

“We need individuals and businesses in Lawrence and the surrounding area to show their support and help continue this wonderful institution,” she said of the parade, in its 16th year.

That support can include financial donations, as well as volunteer efforts and in-kind donations from area businesses and residents, said Phil Bradley, parade chair.

Bradley said there isn’t a set amount of money required to fund the parade, but that typically around $20,000 is needed.

And with the support seen in past years, Bradley said organizers expect the community to continue its support.

“We’re confident we’ll get there,” he said.

Volunteers, parade entrants and donors can obtain more information by calling 865-4477, or by visiting the parade’s Web site: