Organizers of the Very Merry Madison Christmas Parade are seeking additional sponsors and group entries in an effort to bring back the holiday tradition to the city.

The entry deadline will be Nov. 9 for the parade, which will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 1.

This year, the parade will follow a different path and move east to west on Main Street, starting at Jefferson Street and ending at Mill Street. It also will return to its original date, the first Saturday in December.

Though the parade was canceled last year because of lack of entries, Aaron Kelsey, this year's parade coordinator, said the event has received more than 20 participants for floats, walking groups and other sponsors.

Kelsey said the event will include the marching bands from both Madison Consolidated and Southwestern high schools and licensed characters such as Garfield and Curious George. He is also seeking sponsors for the Berenstain Bears, parade advertising, banner printing and additional floats.

The city of Madison is again sponsoring the event and Andrew Forrester, the mayor's executive assistant for community relations, is planning the event with Kelsey.

They have scheduled Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, each of whom will have their own float. Kelsey said the "Mrs. Claus Kitchen" float will include life-size gingerbread men.

Those interested in contributing to or participating in the parade can contact Kelsey at or Forrester at 265-8300. Parade entry and rule forms are available at City Hall or on the city of Madison website,

Kelsey will host a float brainstorming session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 in room D105 at the high school.