Bartlett displays sparkly holiday parade under gray skies

Bartlett had holiday spirit Saturday despite a cold intermittent drizzle, and the Christmas parade continued under gray skies to an appreciative crowd lining one of the city’s main streets. The route was on Stage Road between Bartlett Boulevard and Shelby Street.

Eighteen floats registered to participate, but six of them dropped out because of the inclement weather. The ones who stayed despite the rain earned smiles and a smattering of applause.

The theme for participants this year was “Happy 150 Years, Bartlett” in honor of the city’s sesquicentennial anniversary.

“Despite the gloomy day, we had a great parade,” said Debbie Gelineau, director of community relations for Bartlett. “Thank you to all the participants and spectators who came out to enjoy it. There were some really great floats celebrating Bartlett’s 150 birthday!”

Oak Elementary School Principal Marie DeLockery said her students were very excited to hear that the school’s float won the Sweepstakes Trophy, the city’s highest honor at the parade. It was the second year in a row for the school to participate in the competition, and some of the eager students were able to ride on the float as well.

DeLockery gave credit to Oak’s parent-teacher organization (PTO) for organizing the float project.

“We have an outstanding committee that works well together – definitely a community-oriented project,” she said. “And that committee’s goal and purpose is to give the children and the town of Bartlett just one more pleasant opportunity for something enjoyable. It’s the parade, it’s great participation, great community effort.”

The 2016 trophy winners and their themes were:

  • Sweepstakes Trophy: Oak Elementary School, “150 Years of Bartlett Family Christmases”
  • Santa’s Trophy (schools): First place, Bon Lin Middle School Choir and Drama, “Christmas Through the Ages”; second place, Bon Lin Elementary School, “Bartlett Polar Express; and third place, Ellendale Elementary School, “Let’s Celebrate”
  • Business Trophy: First place, Shelby Farms BMX, “BMX Racing … Past & Present”
  • Civic Groups: First place, Cub Scout Pack 258, “Holiday Ride from the Past”; second place, “Cub Scout Pack 255, Bartlett United Methodist Church, “Pack 255 BUMC”; and third place, “Cub Scout Pack 439, “A Salute to Our Military”
  • Spirit of Christmas: First place, Iglesia del Dios Vivo; and East Side Baptist Church, “Happy Birthday”

Judges for the 2016 parade were Jason Sykes, communications, outreach and volunteer coordinator, Bartlett City Schools; Rachel Landsdown of Trustmark Bank; Sharon Fryman of Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett; and Bryan Woodruff, Bartlett City Schools board member.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to