Lee Ann and Bart Walker bought WGNS radio in 1984 and soon thereafter they took over as the coordinators of the annual Murfreesboro Christmas parade for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. Having now passed the baton on to the City of Murfreesboro’s Parks and Recreation Department, the now retired Walkers will serve as the Grand Marshals of the 2022 parade themed “Christmas through the Years.”
The parade will start from the intersection of East Main Street and Middle Tennessee Boulevard at Middle Tennessee State University on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, at 2:00 p.m., head down East Main Street and around the Rutherford County Courthouse on the historic square, ending near Walnut Street.
Over 160 entries will head down the parade route including floats, marching bands, musical acts, and of course Santa in his sleigh will travel merrily down the street, spreading cheer and goodwill to the community.
Entries in the parade come from non-profit organizations like the Red Cross, the fire and police departments, community middle and high schools, dance schools, churches, and businesses like State Farm, US Bank and Middle Tennessee Electric. The streets fill with people cheering and waving American flags. It is something from the past that has not lost its innocence and taste of small time life still enjoyed and bringing with it the excitement of the season.
Lee Ann Walker’s vast experience coordinating large events, such as the Tennessee Craft Fair in Nashville, helped her to initially become involved in organizing the Christmas parade, then she continued for 35-plus years. Both she and husband, Bart, also served on the boards of many local organizations and could be found everywhere in the community promoting the best of what the city had to offer.
Bart got interested in radio when he was in seventh grade when he built a low-power AM radio station. With the help of Belle Meade Theater Manager E. J. Jordan, Bart was invited to interview performance greats like Fess Parker, Pat Boone, Diane Baker, Guy Lombardo and others who visited Nashville and signed the “Wall of Fame” at the theater. He fell in love with radio, received a journalism degree from MTSU, and became an honored and award winning radio voice.
For more information about the Christmas Parade, contact Rachel Singer at 615-642-3723 or [email protected], or visit the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Facebook event page at @MurfreesboroParksandRec.
Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to providing vibrant public spaces and inclusive programs delivered with visionary leadership and caring staff that engage the individual and strengthen the quality of life in the Rutherford County community.