Xmas parade rolls through town Sat.
Virginia Hubbard is this year's Grand Marshal
December 01, 2010 - Polish your sleigh bells and finish writing your wish list because the annual Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas parade is coming to town Saturday, Dec. 4 with Santa and Mrs. Claus in tow.
The fun begins at 2 p.m. sharp as the parade's 31 entries make their way through downtown Oxford, north on Washington St. between Mechanic and East streets.
"It's down a little bit from the previous year," said Chamber President Rick Laidler. "A lot of people just can't afford to do a float. I think it's the economy that's hurting us a little bit in that area."
However, Laidler noted there's always some "last-minute" entries.
The theme for this year's parade is "Candy Canes and Christmas Carols." Participants will include local businesses, churches, dance studios, fire departments, scouts, non-profit groups and of course, the Oxford High School Marching Band.
Following the parade, kids will have an opportunity to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in Centennial Park as well as pet some live reindeer.
This year's parade will be led by longtime Oxford resident Virginia Hubbard, whose family founded and still owns the Oxford Hills Golf and Country Club on E. Drahner Rd.
Given how much Virginia and her family have donated and continue to contribute to Oxford, Laidler indicated the 94-year-old was a natural choice to lead holiday festivities.
"We were looking for someone that has been in the community for a long time and supported the chamber and the community not only personally, but with their business," he said. "We always look for someone who's been outstanding in the community and Virginia's name came up."
The Hubbard name is synonymous with generosity in this town. Since the 1970s, Oxford Hills has graciously allowed the high school's boys and girls golf teams to practice and play there, free of charge.
Every year, the golf course hosts the Oxford Invitational, featuring the Wildcats and a number of other cross country teams.
And let's not forget the countless school fund-raisers Oxford Hills has participated in over the years.
"They've always been a big supporter of the school programs," Laidler said.
Every Tuesday, the Oxford Hills banquet facility hosts the Rotary Club's weekly luncheon and meeting. When December rolls around, the facility opens its doors to the approximately 200 senior citizens who attend the Rotarians' popular Christmas luncheon.
The Hubbards have also been very generous to the chamber of commerce. In the past, Oxford Hills has hosted the annual chamber golf outing as well as a number of other events dedicated to promoting and aiding the town's small business community.
"They've just been an all-around good citizen for Oxford," Laidler said.
Although she's only six years away from joining the centenarian club, Virginia shows no signs of slowing down.
"She still, every day, goes down to that golf course," Laidler said. "Friday nights she's in the restaurant, socializing with all the customers that come in."
Laider described Virginia as "feisty" and "sharp."
"She remembers everybody's name. She's always smiling. She's always happy. She's just a really, really nice person," he said.
When Virginia rolls by in the parade, be sure to wave, clap or shout to let her know just how truly appreciated she and her family are in Oxford.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.