Little Rock — Dillard’s today announced that they will hold their inaugural Thanksgiving day parade in downtown Little Rock.
The parade will be the first for the clothing retailer, which has been headquartered in Little Rock since 1938. Despite being located in Little Rock, Dillard’s has maintained a very low profile with regards to community activity.
“We wanted to show the city that we really care about the community,”Dillard’s President Alex Dillard tells us. “We looked at [competing brand] what Macy’s, who is praised for their involvement in their home city of New York, has done. They hold a big parade every year. So we brainstormed and decided whatever they do is good enough, so we went with it.”
Last year Dillard’s was heavily criticized for blocking the development of the river trail that would cross their property, forcing the city to explore more costly alternatives. Dillard’s hopes the new community involvement will ease some of the hard feelings without actually allowing any citizens of Arkansas on their lawn.
The parade route will be exactly 2 miles. It will begin at President Clinton Avenue and Rivermarket Avenue. The parade will go down Clinton Ave to Main Street where it will turn onto Capitol Ave. Once on Capitol the parade moves through downtown before turning on Chester Street and eventually on Cantrell. From Cantrell the Parade will continue to the entrance to Dillard’s Headquarters.
Dillard’s tells us the parade will include two cars, a tricycle, and a truck pulling a trailer wrapped in toilet paper from their guest bathroom. Accompanying the parade will be some of Dillard’s Park Plaza employees who will give out free perfume samples sprayed directly into the face of all the parade watchers.
“We really want this to show how much we care about Little Rock,” Dillard says. “We unfortunately were not able to book any of those large balloons like the Macy’s Parade, but we did find a guy that can make a balloon animal that looks sort of like Snoopy. We are going to have him carry that around along with an orange balloon with a Garfield face painted on the side.”
The parade will conclude with a visit from Bruce Pennington dressed as Santa, who they were able to cut a deal with for a bottle of rum and a pack of smokes.