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State treasurer to be Linden grand marshal

When Linden’s Parade of Lights leaves Scott Park to make its way downtown next Friday night, it will be led by one of the state’s leading women, state treasurer Kay Ivey.

“The theme of the Christmas parade this year is ‘Christmas Treasures,’ so it seemed fitting to invite our state treasurer,” said Linden mayor Mitzi Gates. “It’s an honor to have her as our grand marshal. She’s such a positive influence for our state.”

First elected as Alabama’s state treasurer in 2002, Ivey is in the middle of her second term in office.

Recognized by her peers as a national leader in treasury management, she has served as president of the southern region of the National Association of State Treasurers and currently serves on the executive board of its College Savings Plans Network.

A Camden native and a 1967 graduate of Auburn University, Ivey began her career as a high school teacher before becoming an officer with Merchants National Bank in Mobile. She also served as an assistant hospital administrator as well as assistant director of the Alabama Development Office where she authored the “Prepared Cities” program, and the director of government affairs and communications for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

Ivey also served as reading clerk for the Alabama House of Representatives.

The parade will be held Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and will be part of a weekend-long slate of holiday events, called ChillyFest.

ChillyFest will begin that Friday at 3 p.m. with the opening of a two-day carnival by C&M Midways. It will be located on the front lawn of Linden Elementary School.

At the same time, vendors will be set up downtown at Gazebo Park and start selling a variety of unique items, many homemade.

Caroling at the city’s Gazebo Park in the heart of downtown will begin at 4 p.m. with a tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. This will be followed by what is expected to be one of the area’s largest nighttime Christmas parades, the Parade of Lights. It will leave Scott Park at 6:30 p.m. and make its way toward the gazebo where it is expected to arrive around 7 p.m.

The night will be capped off by a professional fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Saturday morning will begin with the first annual Chilly Chili 5K run and 2 mile walk at 9 a.m., followed by a children’s fun run at 10 a.m. It will weave through the downtown area, beginning behind the fire station.

The carnival cranks back up again at 10 a.m., along with a slate of local and regional entertainers providing music throughout the day.

While all this is happening, two other events will be taking place in anticipation of winning awards.

Area teams of amateur chili chefs will try their hand at developing their own chili concoctions – cooking them throughout the day. Judging will be held at 1 p.m.

A car show will also be held throughout the day with judging at 2 p.m.

For more information about the festival go to the city’s website at www.lindenalabama.net. Follow the links to the Chillyfest information. You can also call 334-295-4121.