Don't Train on Our Parade! Dade's Heavy Christmas Lineup for Saturday

December 12, 2019

Christmas comes around every December regular as clockwork, whether anybody's ready or not. Dade's big Christmas Day is Saturday and the community is determined to make it work--whether or not it entails blowing up a train.


(File shot of a Trenton Santa not quite ready for prime time.)


That was one of The Planet's small jokes, of course. No one has mentioned actual explosives, though Dade Small Business Expo organizer--and county executive candidate--Nathan Wooten did make some threatening noises at the last county commission meeting about pulling the train engineer bodily out of the engine if a train blocks the Christmas parade this year, the way it did in 2018. But organizers say fisticuffs probably won't be necessary: Norfolk Southern has been notified and has promised not to "train on Dade's parade" again.


But the parade is the last attraction in Saturday's lineup. First, we've got Wooten's big local Christmas shopping event, the Dade County Expo, and then pre-parade entertainment by the Trenton United Methodist Church a block north of the Trenton town square. Let's take things in order.


File shot from 2016 Expo


The Dade Small Business Christmas Expo is at the Dade County High School from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday. This is its fourth year, and it has been bigger and better- attended every December since it began in 2016.


The focus is on small, local businesses--established players like Gross Furniture and Bottom Dollar Tools as well as mom-and-pop-ops such as craftspeople, makeup vendors, candlemakers, insecticide and tattoo balm makers--The Planet is not making this up. Last year farmers made a pretty good showing, and so did health care providers and civic organizations that take the chance to get their message out to the community. The idea is to provide the local talent a chance to show what they've got to offer and the community a chance to support their local economy.


To drum up enthusiasm, organizer Nathan Wooten gives out plenty of door prizes, plus big drawings for free groceries or trips. There are also food, entertainment, a KIDZONE and a special grand prize to one lucky attendee.


For more information about this year's Dade Small Business Christmas Expo, you can still call Nathan Wooten: (423) 596-5201 or email


Now. Item 2: You are invited to "Parade of Mangers," a free exhibit at Trenton United Methodist Church of Trenton resident Judy Hunt's collection of nativity scenes in various media. Over 100 creches will be displayed and free hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will also be featured.


The church is spitting distance from the town square and right along the Christmas parade's path, so that it makes a convenient place to watch. So come before the parade--hours are 4-6 p.m. The address is 12500 N. Main St., Trenton. 



Finally, this year's Christmas parade qualifies as Dade's own little Christmas miracle. Traditionally the parade is put on by the Dade County Chamber of Commerce. This year, Dade's C of C has been pronounced dead, risen from the ashes, sputtered out again, until at this writing a group of community leaders is hard at work trying to reorganize and resuscitate the organization.


(It's Coming Just The Summing. Or something.)

But don't worry, kids, the Grinch ain't winnin' this one! In order that children can look back at 2019 and remember that the parade "came just the same," the Bank of Dade has stepped in and taken over this year's rendition--thanks especially to the bank's Audrey Clark and Seth Houts. The theme is Merry and Bright, and all floats and even marchers have been requested to festoon themselves with Christmas lights.


The parade is at 6 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 14, forming up at 5 p.m. at South Industrial Drive.


For last minute info or to register your float please contact Seth Houts at 


That's all, folks, and Merry Christmas from The Planet!

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