'A Magical Christmas' will be the theme for this year's 31st annual downtown Texarkana Christmas parade.

To help with that theme, a team of Clydesdales will carry Santa Claus along the traditional, Broad Street parade route and camels will also make their return this year.

Registration is open for the 31st Annual Main Street Texarkana Christmas Parade and for the related Christmas tree decorating contest and fundraiser. Parade entrants are encouraged to incorporate the theme into their floats and lighted floats are a requirement for entry.

The parade will begin at 7PM on Monday, December 7. Applications to enter the parade are due Friday, November 27, and are available here.

Vendor areas in downtown Texarkana will open prior to the parade, at 4PM. On the Texas side, the Farmers’ Market at Texas Boulevard and Third Street will be open with holiday crafts, jams and jellies, Christmas trees for sale and live music. On the Arkansas side, Front Street Festival Plaza will offer refreshments and handmade holiday items.

The Festival of Trees is returning for a second year to Front Street Festival Plaza, this year serving as a fundraiser for local not-for-profits.

Agencies, businesses and individuals are encouraged to decorate and donate an artificial tree, and designate a benefiting nonprofit group. The trees will be auctioned on Main Street Texarkana’s Facebook page, with all proceeds going to the appointed nonprofit.

“Last year was the first time we displayed Christmas trees in the festival plaza, and a lot of people suggested that we do this as a fundraiser. We’re glad to be incorporating that idea this year and look forward to a fun way to support some great causes this holiday season,” said Brandy Chewning with the Texarkana, Ark., Public Works Department.

Photos of all of the trees will be posted on Main Street Texarkana’s Facebook page, and photo LIKES will be tallied to determine the most popular tree, which will receive a trophy from Main Street Texarkana.

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Applications to decorate a tree are available at here, and are due Friday, November 13. Trees must be in place and decorated by Friday, November 20. The auction will close at 5PM on Saturday, November 28, correlating with "Small Business Saturday."

Trees won in the auction may be picked up on Tuesday, December 8, at times to be announced. Checks are the accepted payment and should be made out directly to the benefiting nonprofit.

If anyone would like to donate a pre-owned artificial tree in good shape, the Texarkana, Ark., Recycling Center, 2601 Dudley St., will serve as a drop site. Those who have applied to join the Festival of Trees may come to the recycling center to pick up a tree for decoration. The city is able to provide a tax receipt for Christmas trees donated to this event.

For more information call 870-779-4946.