The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority is now seeking nominations for the Grand Marshals of the 45th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade.

PARA made the decision to cancel the event last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, considering the parade typically sees about 15,000 people attend. In its place, PARA hosted a "Santa Sighting" event where people could instead visit and take selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

However, PARA is moving forward this year to bring back the much-beloved parade.

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This year's parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on December 6 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Tuscaloosa. PARA inherited the coordination of the Christmas parade from the West Alabama Jaycees in 1974, and the longstanding tradition of the Grand Marshals began in 1976.

Previous Grand Marshals in the parade have been people, things, and organizations of significance to the Tuscaloosa community including Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1976, and a commemorative custom-designed flag that honored victims and first responders after the April 27, 2011 tornado.

The full list of previous Grand Marshals can be found here.

Now, PARA is looking for the next person or people take on that mantle. Nominees should meet the following criteria in order to qualify for the position:

  • Significant community contributions
  • Lifetime achievements with a lasting community impact
  • Career accomplishments

The deadline to complete the Grand Marshal Nomination form is October 4 at 5 p.m. Those interested can visit any PARA Activity Center to fill out a nomination form or fill a form out online here.

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