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At last year's Holiday Starlight Parade, Santa Claus made his appearance on Broad Street atop a fire engine.
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The annual Holiday Starlight Parade, a downtown Chattanooga tradition for most of the past 20 years, has been canceled this year because of a lack of financial support.

"We have been looking for a sponsor for a couple months, and didn't find one," said Carla Pritchard, owner of Chattanooga Presents, which has organized the parade in the recent past.

The parade, typically scheduled for the second Saturday of December, has traditionally been an evening event featuring lights as its main theme for floats, bands and more.

The event was canceled in 2010 for lack of funding, but for the past three years Chattanooga Presents has successfully organized it through the financial backing of community sponsors.

Pritchard said she has been looking for a sponsor since this summer, but no one agreed to help with this year's parade.

"There are things [in the organization of the parade that] people don't think about that require a budget," Pritchard said.

She cited insurance costs, marketing, police security and administrative fees as some of the things that "require a decent little budget."

Pritchard has not given up on organizing the parade next year, but said the community needs to remember that events like this cannot take place without sponsors.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.

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