STERLING – The 2013 Sterling Christmas parade will follow the annual tree-lighting and Running of the Santas at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6, all part of Seasonal Sights & Sounds.
This year’s tree-lighting, at Grandon Civic Center, and parade will feature 2013 grand marshals John and Jacquie Neville, longtime volunteers for Toys for Tots. The Nevilles have been residents of the Sauk Valley for more than 32 years. They moved to Sterling in 1981 after acquiring Blackhawk Music Co. and Blackhawk Family Arcade at Northland Mall.
The Nevilles’ children, Kathleen, Kristina, Karoline and Jim, graduated from Newman Central Catholic High School and, since college, have scattered across the country to South Bend, Ind.; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; and Boulder, Colo., respectively. John and Jacquie have been involved with various school and civic organizations over the past 30 years, including the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. John, a Marines veteran, has been active in the Marine Corps League since the late 1990s. He was chairman of the annual Toys for Tots campaign for several years and now for oversees Whiteside County.
People who attend the ceremonies are urged to bring new toys and/or monetary donations to help fill Santa’s sleigh for Toys for Tots. After the tree is lit, the sleigh will move to Sterling Federal Bank while children visit Santa.
The event is sponsored by Sterling Federal Bank, Sauk Valley Bank, Select Employees Credit Union, Freedom Bank, Sterling NAPA Auto Parts, Edward Jones Agent Nick Lareau, Kelly’s restaurant, SBM, Massage Works by Becky Murray, Mead’s Bike Shop, Papa Murphy’s, the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Sterling Main Street. For more information about these holiday events, call the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce at 815-625-2400 or visit http://www.sterlingmainstreet.org.