JOPLIN, Mo. — We’re now only 36 days away from one of Joplin’s biggest holiday celebrations.

The 53rd annual Joplin Christmas Parade will be Tuesday, December 5th. Freeman Health System will manage all the floats and entries for a “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree” theme this year. It’s the 9th year in a row the health system has taken over the duties.

The Joplin mayor even ceremoniously gave Freeman Health’s president and CEO the parade permit on Monday.

“We’ve been doing it since 2014. It’s a magical time for the community and a magical time for us at Freeman as we put together this very big, important and joyous occasion,” said Paula Baker, Freeman Health System President & CEO.

“Christmas has a lot of special meaning from a religious standpoint. And Christmas is also just a really fun time of the year. And this parade, sort of, officially kicks it off,” said Doug Lawson, Joplin Mayor.

It runs on Main Street, beginning at 15th and traveling north to 2nd.

Schools and bands get free entries, non-profits are $15, and all other registrations cost $50. Money raised will go towards Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.