The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and soon St. Nicholas will be there! Okay, well, in a little over a month, anyway. Which means it's time to kick off the holiday season in Battle Creek with the annual Christmas Parade downtown.

Each year, The Harper Creek Optimist Club organizes the event. In fact, the club has done so for 36 years as "a gift" to the greater Battle Creek area. This year's grand marshals are former Battle Creek mayor Preston Kool and his wife Marge, whose long history of civic leadership in town is well known. It is the Kool Family for whom the Burnham Brook Community Center was renamed earlier this year.

The parade, which also kicks off the Battle Creek International Festival of Lights, steps off at 5:50 p.m. Saturday on Michigan Avenue from Washington to Division Streets. Organizers assure that the parade will step off regardless of weather. Forecasters are predicting Battle Creek's first snowfall of the season in the hours leading up to the parade.

Click here for information about road closures to accommodate the parade. Click below to hear parade coordinator Jim Demarest talk about this year's event on The Richard Piet Show.

Hear The Richard Piet Show weekday mornings from 5:30-9 on WBCK.