The face behind Capital City Christmas Parade - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

The face behind Capital City Christmas Parade

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It is a colossal undertaking.

"It's like putting a puzzle together," said Carol Gunter, Public Relations Administrator for the city of Montgomery.

A big puzzle for Gunter, the woman who puts the annual Christmas parade together every year for the city.

Montgomery started having Christmas parades again 9 years ago, shortly after 9/11 and Gunter discovered right away this is serious business for a lot of people.

"I start getting calls in the summer," she said.

Starting in the summer Gunter begins to put all the pieces together, the floats, the marching bands and all the little groups in between with the goal of making the parade a joyful event for the 15,000 or so who cram downtown to take it all in.

And along the way there are challenges to overcome. Gunter expresses a knowing smile. This year is no different. 

"We have construction going on now at Cramton Bowl which is typically our staging area," Gunter said.

With about 4 months worth of planning for this year's parade down Dexter Avenue, Carol Gunter is promising it will be bigger and better and there's a reason why.

"We have the highest number of floats, more than 130 and one reason is because Sam's Club is offering $3,000 in cash for the winner," Gunter said.

Gunter is reluctant to say that she alone makes the difference in getting the logistics together for the Capital City Christmas Parade. She quickly spreads the credit around to the 250 city employees who will be working Friday night from the police department to sanitation.

Gunter says the parade has participants representing 10 counties from far away as Dothan.

For now Gunter's primary goal is to turn historic Dexter into an avenue of joy.

"I just hope people will walk away with a happy feeling," said Gunter.

It all begins Friday, December 3rd.

First, Governor Bob Riley will turn on the switch to light up the state's Christmas tree at the capitol at 5:15 PM. The parade gets underway at 6:00 PM and after the parade, the city will have its own Christmas tree lighting ceremony by the fountain at the foot of Dexter Avenue.

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