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Parade workshop Saturday

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Christmas on the River enthusiast and construction gurus have another opportunity to fine-tune their float design and construction skills with the second COTR day parade workshop this weekend.

Organizers for this year&8217;s Christmas main event are hosting another COTR Day Parade Workshop sponsored by the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce to teach newcomers and seasoned volunteers how to build new floats and repair existing ones. Demonstrations will be given on various techniques for designing, creating, painting and paper mach/.

The workshop is set for 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday at the COTR warehouse, located behind the old police station in Demopolis, which is the on the corner of Walnut and Fulton streets. There is no charge to attend this event and lunch will be provided to all participants. The public is invited to participate in this workshop. Participants may attend a partial day session if desired as well.

Kelley Smith, president of the Chamber said approximately 15 participants took part in last month&8217;s workshop.

The Chamber is hosting the workshop in an effort to teach people interested in designing a float how to build and repair existing floats and to encourage a better quantity and quality of floats, Smith said.

In an effort to revamp the parade to the caliber of floats and entries it was once accustom to, the Chamber is rejuvenating the float competition and setting guidelines on entry requirements.

Smith said the Chambers seeks to have more elaborate entries for the float competition, in comparison to the entries that have been entered in the most recent years.

The Chamber is forming a float review committee, which will review the float idea as well as approve each float before it rides in the parade.

Ben Sherrod, one of the assisting founders of the day parade&8217;s float competition echoed Smith&8217;s concern for improvements with the floats design and details.

He said his hopes are to have people come down (to the workshop) and get back involved in the construction and repair of the floats.

Smith said she too, hopes to see new comers to the area who what to take part in COTR attend the workshop and become involved.

The Chamber requests area businesses send groups of workers so that they may learn techniques to build their own floats for the 2008 parade, which will once again include float competitions. First and second place prizes will be awarded in several categories, including business, private and costume.

Sherrod said the group hopes to make four new floats this year to add to the two floats built last year. He said there are two floats that are permanent items to the parade, the Elf float and the Santa Claus float. Although he said the Santa Claus float is getting a facelift this year.

The Santa Claus float will be on a 40-foot flat bed trailer and will be much bigger, longer and more elaborate this year, Sherrod said.

Smith said the Chamber hopes to have a workshop during the month of June as well.

For more information about the workshop or volunteering for COTR, contact the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce at 334-289-0270.