Porterdale plans parade, tuba concert

PORTERDALE -- Porterdale is getting into the holiday spirit, with a parade and a holiday concert in the works.

The annual Porterdale Christmas Parade will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in downtown Porterdale, featuring Santa and his miniature reindeer.

Applications are still being accepted for participants, including schools, churches, clubs, marching bands, sports teams, civic groups, businesses, neighborhoods and individuals.

There is no entry fee. Lineup will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the alley behind Village Inn and the route will proceed left onto North Broad Street then right on Hemlock, ending at the Historic Train Depot, where Santa will hang around for pictures. Applications are available on the city's website at www.cityofporterdale.com. Call 770-786-2217 for more information.

The lighting of the city Christmas tree and the historic star, along with an old-fashioned marshmallow roast, are included in the festivities.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, the fourth annual TUBACHRISTMAS concert is slated for 3 p.m. at the Historic Train Depot. The concert isn't your typical holiday fare: Around 50 tuba players, wearing colorful stocking caps with white pom poms and instruments adorned with ornaments and ribbons, are the entertainers.

This is the fourth consecutive year of the event, known as TUBACHRISTMAS, which was initiated by Porterdale City Councilman Lowell Chambers in 2009.

"Tuba players are usually on the back row of the orchestra and sometimes feel under appreciated," Chambers said. "TUBACHRISTMAS is an opportunity for the tuba to be front and center."

Registration for tuba players takes place at 1 p.m. at Porterdale City Hall, with a rehearsal scheduled for 2 p.m. at Party on Main. There is a nominal registration fee. Past participants should bring carol books. Newcomers may purchase a book of carols at registration. Stocking caps are also available for purchase.

Eastside High School Band Director Alan Fowler will direct and Dan Ragsdale will lead singing.

The concert is free.

Musicians often gussy up for the event in festive and sometimes outrageous attire and decorate their tubas with tinsel, bows and flashing lights.

TUBACHRISTMAS is a series of festivals taking place between Thanksgiving and Christmas all over the country. It was started in 1974 by the late Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher, William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day. The first concert took place in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink.

Now, TUBACHRISTMAS is celebrated in 200 cities nationwide. All tuba players, from middle school band students to seasoned professionals, are invited to participate.

For more information, call 770-784-5894.