It may be the middle of October, but in a little over a month, the 85th Annual Owensboro-Daviess County Christmas Parade, the second-largest parade in Kentucky, will commence.

The Parade Association has announced one of the special guests for this year's parade, which will take place on Saturday, November 18th. By the way, the theme for the parade is "The Gift of Christmas" which serves as an inspiration to participants' floats and activities for the event.

The route along 2nd Street downtown is always packed for this pre-Thanksgiving tradition.

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Okay, one of this year's parade's special guests will be, Miss Kentucky 2023 Mallory Hudson! Hudson was serving as her hometown's Miss Bowling Green when she won the state title back in July. She's a graduate of South Warren High School and she's currently a student at the University of Kentucky where she is studying Communications and Political Science. Mallory was also a 2019 Kentucky Governor's Scholar. She intends to continue her education and go on to law school.

Mallory's Community Service Initiative is Inclusive Stages, which is designed to provide theatrical and artistic opportunities for individuals with special needs. Through her CSI, Mallory has had the honor of implementing a number of initiatives to further inclusivity efforts in the state. For example, she has initiated inclusive acting classes for individuals with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, written a children's book Inclusive Stages, created a podcast "Inclusive Stages: Behind the Curtain," and distributed sensory kits to Kentucky theaters to make them more accessible for those individuals with sensory processing disorders.

Ultimately, Inclusive Stages strives to teach people to look for capabilities instead of disabilities and welcome all to not only the theatrical stage but also to the stage that is life! Mallory was awarded the 2023 Kentucky Farm Bureau Quality of Life Award for her work with Inclusive Stages.

**By the way, Early Bird pricing for Christmas parade entries and vendors is available until midnight on October 31st.

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Gallery Credit: MKat

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