Santa Claus coming to downtown 7 p.m. Friday

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PLANT CITY – Santa will have a lot of helpers at Friday’s Christmas parade, the annual kick off to the holiday season in Plant City.

About 100 floats led by representatives of the agencies that keep Plant City safe will make their way through downtown starting at 7 p.m. The parade will include at least a half-dozen marching bands.

“It’s going to be a nice parade with a lot of floats,” parade chairwoman Sharon Moody said.

Santa will ditch his sled and ride in the parade in a unique mode of transportation. In previous parades he has made his way through downtown on an air boat and missile launcher.

His mode of transportation is kept secret until parade day.

Plant City’s first responders will be parade marshals and ride on the first float in the procession. Moody said four representatives each from the Plant City Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol and Plant City Fire Rescue will ride on the grand marshal float.

Other participants will include churches, civic clubs and businesses.

The parade forms at Collins and Alsobrook streets and travels north on Collins through downtown and heads east on Reynolds Street, disbanding at the Plant City Courthouse.

Sponsors include Unity in the Community, Stingray Chevrolet, Astin Strawberry Exchange, Baskin Tax Accounting, Center State Bank, Jarrett-Scott Ford, Rick and Di Lott, Start Distribution Systems and Walden Lake Car Wash.

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