COTR volunteers needed, in a hurry

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2003

Christmas on the River is coming to the City of Demopolis in less than two weeks and the float builders need some more help to get the floats finished. There is a warehouse behind the Demopolis Police Department, where the people of Demopolis have gathered to create wonderful daytime parade floats and beautiful nighttime parade floats.

Only this year fewer and fewer people have turned out to help. "The only clubs to come out and help us this year were the Interact club, and the JROTC," said Kirk Brooker, Daytime parade Chairman. They still need lots of help from the people of Demopolis down at the warehouse. "There is a community work night Tuesday at 6:00 pm and a community workday Wednesday starting at 10:00 am." "We need help with painting, paper machining, and the final touches," Brooker said.

Sgt. Mike Black, Nighttime parade Chairman has also had little help with the actual building of the nautical floats. "If it wasn’t for the couple of clubs that came out and the many hours of work by certain individuals, then these floats wouldn’t be finished," Black said. Thursday night, there was only 7 people working on the floats, of the 7, 4 of those were students from Demopolis High School. "I wish we had some more help, it has been like this for a while now," said Jeremy Black.

There is a new plan for the float designs and the storage of the floats for the Nighttime Nautical parade. "We plan to build 5 new floats a year, so we can start to build a catalog of floats." "We also have started to put hinges in all the floats, so they can fold up for easy storage," Black said.

The Christmas on the River Daytime parade will feature seven floats in all with six of them being chamber sponsored and one sponsored by the Pink Ladies. Of the six chamber floats, three of them will be brand new designs.

"We have a Santa Claus float, Saint Nick float, Young COTR courts, Miss COTR, Lead Elf float, US Jones 3rd grade top 25 AR readers, and Snowman sick in bed," Brooker said.

This year is shaping up to be one of the best parades yet. "I would like to like Phil Bonds, Demopolis High School band director for getting 8 bands from around the region to perform during the parade." "I hope everyone enjoys seeing the new floats and the some of the old favorites, and I look forward to seeing more involvement from the people of Demopolis," Brooker said.

The Christmas on the River Nighttime Nautical parade will feature twenty floats in all with eight brand new floats. There will also be a special float this year thanking Jim Byrd for his years of service to COTR. Joel Coley was the engineer behind most of the new designs and he also came up with the idea for putting the hinges in the floats.

The eight new floats will be a thrill to watch this year, with one of them being a tribute to the men and women of the US military, who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The floats take a lot of man-hours to put together and get on the boats to float down river. "I would like to thank the Coast Guard of Demopolis and Tim Trimmble for all their help over the years, we couldn’t do it without them," Black said.

They still need lots of help moving the floats to the river and mounting them on the boats.

"I would like to thank the Yacht Basin and Fred Mayton for their help." "If anyone has a bass boat or a pontoon boat and would like to help pull a float please contact the Chamber of Commerce or the Yacht Basin," Black said.