QA with Allison Moore: Moore takes reigns as COTR chairman

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 19, 2007

When you did first become involved with Christmas on the River?

I&8217;m originally from Livingston and moved to Demopolis when I got married. We&8217;ve lived here for 13 years, and I&8217;ve been helping with Christmas on the River off and on for about 10 years in different aspects.

Did you attend COTR events when you were younger?

I&8217;ve been coming to COTR as long as I can remember. My dad is a retired National Guardsman out of the Demopolis post. When I was a little kid, probably 5-or 6-years-old or younger, the National Guard use to put a big truck down on the riverbank for the night parade and serve free coffee and hot chocolate to the people on the riverbank. I would come with my dad and sit up in the big truck and get to see the night parade. That was probably first memory of COTR.

After seeing COTR evolve over the years, how important do you think this event is to our community?

I think it&8217;s very important for all ages. I think it brings a large amount of visitors into the community, so I think that also brings money into the community during that weekend and the week of events. I have two children and they look forward to it all year long, and not just any one particular event. It&8217;s just a tradition. It has a place in my heart. I think it&8217;s very important for the community, and I just hope everybody in the community feels the same. I think it would be devastating if it were ever cancelled.

How many people usually attend?

The numbers I&8217;ve always heard is anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000. It draws a large crowd of people from all over the United States of America. It&8217;s been featured in Southern Living magazine; it&8217;s been on television on the Food Network and Home and Garden Television. It&8217;s something that is known throughout the country. It&8217;s not just something known across our state.

How will this year&8217;s event compare to year&8217;s past?

It will be very different because we&8217;re doing some things different this year. We will have three day parade floats that are being completely redone. We&8217;re also doing a large amount of repairs and touchups on all the floats because we&8217;ve had them for several years and haven&8217;t had a chance to reconstruct them due to lack of volunteers.

The night parade is completely new because there are 10 new animated floats being built by a company. It&8217;s a new parade all to itself. Also, we are allowing the public to enter their decorated boat into the night parade as well.

What is the biggest need to get the COTR event underway?

We need volunteers. A lot of people think, if the Chamber of Commerce doesn&8217;t call and ask for help that we don&8217;t need help and that&8217;s not the case. We have a select hand full of people who are down there every day and every night. They have families just like the rest of us. They have full time jobs just like the rest of us. They&8217;re down there all the time. If we didn&8217;t have them, I don&8217;t know what we&8217;d do. I just cannot express that enough in the community, and not just in Demopolis but in the surrounding towns and even counties. Sumter county contributes financially to the parade, we have sponsors from other areas. We welcome volunteers from anywhere to help with any aspect of it. Right now it just so happens the Children&8217;s Day Parade is what we&8217;re focused on for help.

Who else helps out besides the volunteers?

Each chairperson does an outstanding job. They are responsible for their event and organizing all the help for it. They make their event happen. They do everything. I did the Children&8217;s Day Parade for years, and I loved it. Each individual chairperson needs to be recognized for their event, because I just help out where I&8217;m needed. If their event needs help, then I help. We&8217;re all volunteers, none of us gets paid except for the compensation we get from seeing the community enjoy the event.