The Salem Chamber of Commerce held their monthly meeting Sept. 24 at noon in the Orange Room of the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative. Ken Harper led the meeting.
The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Christmas parade. Though Christmas is a long way away, it creeps up on people before they know it. The chamber of commerce is trying to plan ahead.
Sandra McFarren of First National Banking Company and parade organizer, suggested moving the parade line up to the old shirt factory on Highway 395 instead of Preacher Roe Park. "(The line up at the park) is a maze at least," Harper said, who has worked at the parade before. Several chamber members said the decision is up to the parade organizer. Jerry Estes, director of NAEC, suggested keeping the line-up at the park because the lights in the park can be turned on for people to see once it gets dark. A couple of members suggested moving the line-up to the old Skyview parking lot. In the end, the chamber decided McFarren should be the one to figure out the best place for the line up to be.
McFarren also told the chamber she moved the line-up time to 6 p.m. and the start time to 6:30 p.m. She said in previous years everything started 30 minutes earlier. Business workers found it difficult to start that early because their businesses didn't close until that time, McFarren said.
McFarren asked the chamber if they would adjust the prize money to $125 for first place, $100 for second, $75 for third and $25 for honorable mention. They agreed to adjust the prize money.
Float owners or drivers would have to pick up their numbers at the entrance tent, McFarren said. If they don't pick up their number, they won't be judged, McFarren said.
McFarren is also interested in holding an art display during the festivities. The art display would include art works by kindergarten through sixth grade students from Salem, Viola and Mammoth Spring. Judges will give awards of first place, $10; second place, $8; and third place, $7.
McFarren also suggested holding a business decoration contest just for businesses on the square. There would be one prize of $25. The chamber thought the idea would be great if chamber businesses were included, as well. Estes suggested that judges not go out to businesses unless the business specifically asked for them to come out and judge them.
In other business, Harper reminded everyone that the Chamber of Commerce Banquet is Oct. 27 in the Hickinbotham building at the fairgrounds and tickets are $10.
Fulton County Clerk, Vicki Bishop, advised that the last day to register to vote in the November General Election is Oct. 6. Absentee voting started Sept. 30 and early voting begins Oct. 20.
The next Salem Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held Oct. 15.