The shoe was happily on the other foot for Carthaginian Cheryle Finley.

The shoe was happily on the other foot for Carthaginian Cheryle Finley.

Over the past 12 years, Finley has had the opportunity to tell several people they were named the Maple Leaf Grand Marshal – this year, the shoe was on the other foot as Mark Sponaugle called to tell her she was named the 2012 Christmas Parade Grand Marshal. The parade is slated for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 around the Carthage Square.

“I was surprised and thrilled,” she said. “When Mark called I thought he was going to ask me to be a judge for something. (pauses to laugh) This is even better than I imagined. I've always gone to the Christmas parade, I've lived here all my life and plan on living here the rest of my life, and the parade is part of that hometown feel. It's about being a part of that fun.”

Finley is the location manager at Liberty Bank. She is vice president on the Family Literacy Council, she has served as the Maple Leaf co-chair for 12 years, she has helped with the Carthage Police Department's Christmas Party for several years, and she is on the Special Olympics Polar Plunge Committee and the Big Brothers Big Sisters board. She says a calendar is a must-have item in her life.

“Everything I do I enjoy doing so it makes it easy to get out and get things done,” she said.

Cheryle has been married to Chris for 34 years, and she has a daughter, Sarah (husband Chris) and stepdaughter, Kristy. Cheryle has one grandson, Atlas, 7.
Sponaugle said he’s had more than 50 floats, bands and other entries in this year’s Christmas parade and he expects the number of entries to reach 55.

“We’ve had four or five new entries, including the Carthage Kiwanis Club and others,” Sponaugle said. “It will probably last about 45 minutes to an hour.”
Sponaugle said organizers are accepting new float entries until Nov. 30.

People can call Sponaugle at the Carthage Tech Center South at 359-7026 to enter.
The parade is organized annually by the Carthage High School Skills USA group. The theme this year  is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Parade entries will start lining up at Main and Chestnut.

After the parade
The Christmas lights will be on at the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix, 1900 S. Grand Ave., for a special showing the Way of Salvation, the huge light display on the Congregation grounds.

An untold number of lights tell some of the famous stories from the Bible leading up to the birth of Christ.

Father Dominic, a brother at the Congregation in charge of setting up the lights, said the display will be open on Monday from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. for a special showing.

He said the display is normally open Thursdays through Sundays between Thanksgiving and Dec. 26. Times are the same, from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. each night.

Cars weave through the grounds and can turn their car radios to a special station broadcasting Christmas music and the stories displayed in the lights.
Father Dominic said he and his crew got a late start this year and had to put the entire display up in five weeks as opposed to the two months they usually take.
Donations will be accepted at the end of the display.

Father Dominic said the money collected goes to pay a crew to help set up the display and to pay the bill for the massive amount of electricity to run the light show.