PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Downtown Panama City is gearing up for their annual Jaycee’s Christmas Parade. Many people feel that this year’s parade has a special meaning, with the community closer to being back on its feet after Hurricane Michael.
“To me, it’s about being back to normal,” said Tom’s Hot Dog Owner Pam Armstrong. “As normal as normal can be for us right now.”
Armstrong says she stays open every year during the parade.
“The Christmas Parade is my single busiest day of the year,” Armstrong said.
Last year, many residents were struggling with the immediate aftermath of the storm.
“It was a different Christmas than what we had normal experienced last year,” said Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen.
The parade will be back on its normal route this year, starting at the Panama City Marina and ending at Bay High School.
“We actually have right at 102 floats this year so that is a big increase from last year,” said Parade Coordinator Dana Hancock.
The parade will also have a new theme.
“We’re doing a ‘Collegiate Christmas’ so everyone is going to be out there in their favorite college colors,” Hancock said.
McQueen invites the whole community to come out and celebrate all the success the city has had since the storm passed.
“We’ve come a long way in a year,” McQueen said. “We’re going to keep pressing on and we have a long way to go.”
The parade will be broadcasted live on News 13 starting at 7 p.m.