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Joplin and Freeman Health System Announce 2023 Christmas Parade Theme

Joplin Mayor Doug Lawson and Freeman CEO and President Paula Baker
Freeman Health System
Joplin Mayor Doug Lawson and Freeman CEO and President Paula Baker

For information about placing an entry in the 2023 Joplin Christmas Parade, call Sally Currence, Freeman Special Events Coordinator, at 417.347.4624 or email

Today, maybe Halloween but Christmas is just around the corner and officials from Freeman Health System and the city of Joplin unveiled the theme of this year's Holiday Day parade.

KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

In a press conference held Monday, at Freeman Hospital West, Mayor of Joplin Doug Lawson, presented a 2023 Joplin Christmas Parade permit to Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer.

Both Baker and Lawson also unveiled this year’s theme, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” along with the emblem, which is dominated by a smiling snowman sitting next to a Christmas-green electric guitar.

Funds generated by the 53rd Annual Joplin Christmas Parade will go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which assists children from birth to 21 years of age. Baker said in a press release, “One hundred percent of every dollar raised locally stays local and helps children across 14 counties in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas,”

Freeman is seeking entries for Joplin’s largest holiday tradition. There are no fee for schools or bands. There is a $15 fee for non-profit organizations with an active 501(c) status and all other registrations are $50.

Space is limited – a maximum of 75 float entries are sought.

The parade will take place at 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 5, with a route starting at 15th and Main Streets and running north to Second Street.

Copyright 2023 Four States Public Radio. To see more, visit Four States Public Radio.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.