Parade entries, volunteers needed for Queen Creek holiday festival

Members of Club Dance participated in the Queen Creek Festival and Parade in previous years. (Independent Newspapers/Wendy Miller)

Members of Club Dance participated in the Queen Creek Holiday Festival and Parade in previous years. (Independent Newspapers/Wendy Miller)

Parade applications are due by Nov. 25

With the Queen Creek Holiday Festival and Parade only a month away, event organizers are pushing forward to enroll more parade entries and enlist additional volunteers and sponsors.

“We have about 30 entries now and hope to have 80,” Kayla Geoffroy said during a phone interview.

Ms. Geoffrey is the administrative assistant for the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce, which is co-producing the 34th annual event with the Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek. About 60 entries participated in the 2015 parade, Kiwanis Club President Jim Skiotes said during a phone interview.

The Queen Creek Festival and Parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 3, in downtown Queen Creek. The festival will begin at noon at the Queen Creek Recreation Annex, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road in the Town Center; it will last until 7 p.m.

Parade
The parade starts at 3:30 p.m. It will run north on Old Ellsworth Road and will end at the recreation annex, where attendees can explore craft vendors, food vendors, live local entertainment, kids crafts and activities, photos with Santa Claus and a variety of other activities.

A tree-lighting ceremony will take place at 6:15 p.m. in the festival area. A menorah lighting ceremony also is being planned.

This year’s theme is Cartoon Christmas. Entries will be recognized in the following categories: youth division, open division, youth equestrian for high school ages and younger, open equestrian for mixed ages and adults, nonprofit organization and pooper scoopers.

The character of Santa Claus will not be allowed in any entry as the parade committee will supply a Santa for the parade finale.

Applications are due by Nov. 25. Entrants should be prepared to supply such as information as how many floats will be entered, how many walkers will participate, the length of the float, if horses will be included in the entry and how many vehicles will be included.

Entry fees received before Nov. 12 are $50 for a business/commercial entry, $50 for a non-commercial/private entry and $25 for a nonprofit/school entry. The fee will increase by $20 for applications received after Nov. 12.

Applications may be submitted and paid for online with a debit or credit card on the event website at www.queencreekparade.org. Checks, money orders or cashier checks must be made out to Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce and will only be accepted on application approval.

Personal checks must include a phone number on the check and a valid driver’s license number and expiration date in the upper left hand corner of the check.  There is a $25 charge plus a $15 administration fee for all returned checks. No refunds will be issued after Nov. 18.

Volunteers
The committee also is looking for volunteers to perform a number of duties. These include event set-up for both the festival and parade, event tear down and clean-up and adults to help direct cars in the parking lots, Miguel Angel Garcia, the committee’s volunteer coordinator, said during the committee meeting held Oct. 24 at the chamber office, 22246 S. Ellsworth Road.

Volunteers will work in shifts, Mr. Garcia said. People can sign up to volunteer on the event website or they can e-mail volunteer@queencreekparade.org.

In addition, the committee is seeking donations of food to feed the volunteers, Ms. Geoffroy said during the meeting. She said she hoped to receive donations from several vendors so no one vendor has to feed all the volunteers.

Carolers, sponsors
More than 100 vendors — mostly boutique businesses and crafters — have been confirmed for the festival, Ms. Geoffroy said.

“It’s all about holiday shopping. There are only a limited number of information booths this year,” she said.
Entertainment by local groups and performers will be provided, but there is one more need committee members would like to have filled.

“We would like to hear from groups of carolers to carol along the parade route,” Ms. Geoffroy said.
Interested groups may contact Ms. Geoffroy at 480-888-1709.

Also, the committee is seeking sponsors to help offset the cost of the event. Sponsorships range from the $250 for the “festival sponsor” level to $5,000 for the “gold” level. The higher the sponsorship level, the more publicity the sponsor will receive.

“Gold sponsors” will have their name and logo prominently displayed at the festival and program; on advertising, banners, billboards, brochures and fliers; and on the volunteers’ T-shirt. They also will be recognized on the event website and social media sites, and in frequent announcements made throughout the day during the parade and festival. “Gold” sponsors also will receive two free vendor booths at the festival and a parade entry as well as six VIP passes for the festival and parade.

Another sponsorship level is the “QC Small Business” sponsor level for $500. Those sponsors will receive recognition on the event website and social media sites as well as during announcements at the parade and festival.

They also will receive a free vendor booth at the festival and a parade entry.

For more information, visit the event website at www.queencreekparade.org or e-mail sponsorships@queencreekparade.org.

News Editor Wendy Miller can be contacted at 480-982-7799 and via e-mail at qcnews@newszap.com, or follow her on Twitter @WendyNewszap123. Be sure to like us at www.facebook.com/Queen Creek/San Tan Valley Independent.

News Editor Wendy Miller can be contacted at 480-982-7799 and via e-mail at qcnews@newszap.com, or follow her on Twitter @WendyNewszap123.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.