NEW HOULKA --New Houlka’s mayor and board of aldermen took several Christmas-related actions during their 6:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday, NOV. 2.

Attendees included; Alder Lady Kimberly Murphree, Aldermen Dustin Eaton, K. C. Gates, Jerry Turner. Brad Vance, City Clerk Janie Tutor; and Attorney Kevin Howe.

Also attending the board meeting was Police Chief Phillip Smith.

Mayor David Huffman was absent.

The board took the following actions. All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted in this article.

The meeting was called to order by Vice-Mayor Dustin Eaton at 6:30 p.m.

Aldermen:

--Approved giving town employees -- but not elected officials -- $150 as a Christmas bonus.

--Set the date of the Annual Christmas Parade for Saturday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m.

The parade will start at the Houlka School Administration Building, head west down Hwy. 32 and come around the town square, then return to the school building and break up there.

If things go as in previous years, the parade will feature fire trucks, floats, horses and antique cars as well as Ole St. Nick and his elves. “That’s what we’re hoping for,” Mrs. Tutor said.

Churches, civic clubs, groups and individuals wanting to enter a vehicle, a float or host a walking unit are asked to contact Mrs. Tutor at Houlka City Hall at 568-2746.

Those participating in the parade need to line up at school at 430 p.m.

The theme of the parade is “A Hometown Christmas.”

Ladies from the community will decorate the square, “and our guys will put up lights on poles,” Mrs. Tutor said.

Downtown businesses are asked to decorate store fronts for the occasion and parade-goers are being urged to buy a Christmas gift or something to eat from businesses that stay open that evening.

Children picking up candy are asked to gather on the Square for safety reasons. “That’s always a good idea,” the town clerk said.

Parade attendees are urged to get to the parade about 30 minutes early to avoid traffic delays and to get premium spots.

Police will block off the square, so parking there for the parade is first-come first served,“ the town clerk said.

The parade will be canceled in event of severe weather, but will go on if the weather is just cold.

As always, Santa will ride at the end of the parade, throwing candy, “hopefully with a couple of elves. At least, that’s the game plan,” Mrs. Tutor said.

“Anyone who wants to participate is welcome. We appreciate everyone who wants to turn out. They’ll have a lot of fun and get to see the Christmas lights,” the town clerk said.

In other action during he meeting, aldermen:

--Approved Police Chief Phillip Smith to attend the Chief of Police Conference in Hattiesburg Dec. 14-16.

--Approved the agenda as is.

--Approved the minutes of Oct. 5, 2021.

--Approved paying all claims on the November 2021 Docket.

--Recessed until the regular board meeting on Dec. 7, 2021.

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