NORRISTOWN — What Norristown needs this time of year is a good old-fashioned Jingle Ball Celebration and Mini Parade Extravaganza.

And how about a friendly Ugly Sweater Contest to top off the fun?

It's all happening Dec. 15 at Norristown Baptist Church, 1225 Pine St., Norristown, thanks to the imaginations of Audrey Lomax and Shakeema Layne of Norristown Baptist Church.

"It was actually Audrey, the daughter of our pastor, Bruce Butler, Jr., who came up with the idea," noted Layne, who lives in Limerick.

"Every aspect of this was her idea and we've been supporting her. Knowing that the PAL Center had been closed and there really wasn't anything going on for kids in Norristown, she started putting this together and organizing everything and building it with her own money and donations from the church."

The event, sponsored by Norristown Baptist Church and NAHS Gospel Choir, kicks off at 3:30 p.m. with a mini parade, Layne said,

"We want all the children that attend to participate in that. We'll march right around the neighborhood and sing Christmas carols. We'll have speakers facing out the windows playing Christmas music so that the neighborhood can share in it."

The entire event is family-oriented and will include gift-giving for the little ones (ages 3 to 12), arts and crafts, beautiful Christmas and "winter-esque visuals" and decorations, family pictures with Santa and elves, a mini Christmas play and more, Layne said.

Toys for Tots donated more than 500 gifts to the the cause.

"There will also be gift card prizes for two separate contests, the Ugly Sweater Contest and Classy Christmas Contest," she added.

The gift cards were donated by Layne's company, Washington Layne Photographs of Limerick.

"Since my company is sponsoring it, we actually get to run this portion of the event," she explained. "The way we see it working will be kind of like a fashion show and have everyone walk down the middle aisle and model their sweaters and then have the audience clap for whoever they think has the best ugly sweater or classy sweater. Each participant, age 18 and over, has a chance to win a $30 Visa gift card if they come dressed in the best ugly sweater or the best classy Christmas outfit. Second place wins a $10 visa."

The Jingle Ball Celebration and Mini Parade Extravaganza winds down with a Christmas Turkey Dinner served by The Butler Caterers at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit Jingle Ball Celebration & Mini Parade Extravaganza on Facebook.

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