One of Licking County's "best-kept secrets," according to Pataskala Mayor Mike Compton, is slated next weekend.

One of Licking County's "best-kept secrets," according to Pataskala Mayor Mike Compton, is slated next weekend.

The 20th annual Outville Christmas parade in Harrison Township is scheduled to step off at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Harrison Township Community Complex, 6750 Outville Road. The small community is a few miles east of Pataskala.

Entrants will begin lining up at 1:30 p.m.

No registration is required to participate in the parade.

This year's grand marshal is lifelong Harrison Township resident and former township road superintendent Harry Ford, said parade organizer Jennifer Noble.

Last year's parade featured approximately 30 entries, including everything from antique cars, tractors and other farm equipment to motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Images from the event are available on the Outville Christmas parade Facebook page.

Noble said the parade usually is much larger, with 60 to 70 entries in past years.

"(The parade is) a pretty big deal and kind of a best-kept secret, although more and more people are coming," Compton said.

Compton said some Pataskala groups participate in the parade, including the Watkins Memorial High School marching band.

The parade will travel north on Outville Road before turning and returning to the township complex, where the township trustees host a bean soup and cornbread dinner.

After dinner, former Licking County commissioner Doug Smith will auction items for the West Licking Historical Society.

Historical society member Priscilla Gurile said members bring in items and ask businesses to donate items for the auction.

"We get gift certificates and some items from businesses," Gurile said. "Usually members also bring items, like gift baskets for the holidays."

Martha Tykodi, historical society president, said the organization earns $400 to $800 annually. The money helps support the Mead-Needham Museum in Pataskala and other educational opportunities.

She said the society places historical bulletin boards in local schools to "bring kids into the historical world."

Gurile said the parade and Christmas event can attract a crowd.

"It's usually a fun time and a lot of people are there," she said.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

"(The parade is) a pretty big deal and kind of a best-kept secret, although more and more people are coming."

-- MIKE COMPTON

Pataskala mayor