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The annual Casper downtown Christmas parade blends the sights and sounds of the season with fresh -- or perhaps frigid -- air in a true community event. Floats, lighted vehicles and holiday-bedecked horses will wind through downtown, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. This year’s theme is “A Christmas Wish List.”

Chilly temperatures are expected, so bundle the kids and enjoy the start to the holiday season in Casper. Free hot chocolate and cookies will be available at several locations to beat back the cold.

The parade begins on A Street, heads south on Center to First Street, east on First to Durbin, south on Durbin to Second Street, west on Second to Center and continues south on Center to City Park, where it will end.

Public restrooms will be available strategically through the parade, and the indoor restrooms at the parking garage on Center Street across from the Wonder Bar will be open as well.

There will be cookie and hot chocolate stations manned by volunteers at First Interstate Bank, Rubenesque (on the west side of First United Methodist Church), Fashion Crossroads, Eggington’s, Charlie T’s, the Wonder Bar and Bushwell’s Sporting Goods. Cookies and hot chocolate are provided by the Ramkota, the Parkway Plaza, the Wonder Bar and Eggington’s.

Parade-goers are asked to take a new toy to the parade for Toys for Tots. Collection boxes will be placed near hot chocolate stations at the parade and will also be located at Santa’s Workshop in the old Downtown Grille location on Second Street.

And the Natrona County School District transportation department is conducting a Stuff the Bus campaign in conjunction with its 1928 lighted school bus float. Parade goers are asked to donate school supplies for less fortunate students, which will be collected by walkers alongside the float.

Santa will close the parade and will be escorted on his journey by the Marines.

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Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS.

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