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Lisbon Christmas Parade: Spirited, Feeds the Hungry

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The Great Lisbon Farmers Feed the Hungry Christmas Parade, led by festively-decorated tractors followed by 250 seasonally-adorned saddle and carriage horses, kicks off on Sat., Dec. 9, at noon. Presented by the Howard County Farm Bureau, it’s a day that promises holiday fun for the whole family.
What started as way to put the historic town of Lisbon (a town tucked in the far corner of Howard County’s rural west side) back on the map is now an annual holiday tradition and one of the most attended small town Christmas parades in the state. It is also when the local equine and agricultural communities gather to take part in one of Maryland’s biggest fundraisers to feed the hungry.

Community Spirit
The parade highlights the true meaning of community, as it is defined by the spirit of people from all walks of life who gather to give to those in need. Thousands of people will come together to take part in and/or watch the parade along the 1-mile swath of the historic national road — Frederick Road, Lisbon’s Main Street.
Now in its seventh year, the parade has brought in more than $50,000 in donations to the local food banks — Howard County Food Bank and Carroll County Food Sunday — plus Farmers and Hunters Feed the Hungry (FHFH) and the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Co. (LVFC), which is conducting a fundraising campaign to build a new facility that is slated to be completed in 2019.

Fundraising for the Hungry
More than $13,000 was raised at the 2016 Lisbon Christmas Parade through the support of participants, sponsors and spectators. These funds were presented to the beneficiaries at the April 13 Howard County Farm Bureau’s Annual Legislative Dinner. Both food banks received $5,000, while $1,500 was presented to both LVFC and FHFH.
In addition, thanks to community support, more than 800 pounds of non-perishable food was collected at the 2016 parade and was split between the Howard County Food Bank and Carroll County Food Sunday.

Getting Involved
There are several ways to participate in the parade, from entering horses and tractors to being a vendor at the Christmas Village on the grounds of the future LVFC facility, to funding the parade as a sponsor, hero or helper. As a spectator, you can also contribute to the food drive that will accompany the parade.
Things to Note
The parade begins at noon. Arrive early to secure parking and a great spot along the parade route. Route 144 and nearby roads along the parade route will be closed at 11:30 a.m. The Lisbon Christmas Village, which will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will present a great opportunity to find holiday gifts for friends and loved ones and is where you’ll find pony rides, music and more. And, you won’t go hungry if you remember to eat at the LVFC’s Chicken & Ham Dinner starting after the parade at 1 p.m. at the Lisbon Fire Hall.
To learn more about contributing and what’s planned for this year’s parade, visit www.LisbonChristmasParade.com.