Freeman and City of Joplin Announce Christmas Parade Theme

Cruisin' to Christmas Brings Return to Traditional Parade

(Joplin, MO) Freeman Health System and city officials announced the theme of the 51st Annual Joplin Christmas Parade – Cruisin’ to Christmas at a joint press conference today.

“Freeman Health System has managed the parade since 2014,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re honored the City of Joplin entrusts us with this endeavor. It takes hundreds of volunteer hours and many dedicated hearts to orchestrate a celebration of this magnitude — we embrace this challenge because it’s our way of giving back to the community that has supported us for more than 96 years.”

This year marks the return to a traditional parade down Joplin’s Main Street at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, December 7. The parade route starts at 15th and Main Street and ends at 3rd Street. Freeman will coordinate band and float entries. Businesses, charities, schools and community groups are encouraged to participate.

“I would like to express gratitude to our city leaders for choosing us as their partners again for the annual Christmas Parade,” said Ryan Melton, Freeman Interim Executive Director of Development. “We are excited that our community will get to experience this great event together and I’m most excited that it will benefit the medical needs of kids in our community through Freeman and Children’s Miracle Network.”

Funds generated by the 2021 Joplin Christmas Parade will go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®, which provides assistance to children from birth to 21 years of age in a 14-county area in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. All money raised stays local, helping children with medical needs and their families. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals helps furnish and maintain Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, provides funding for local community organizations’ pediatric needs and provides pediatric emergency equipment for area agencies.

Freeman is seeking entries for the big event. Entry fees are $50 for-profit organizations and $15 non-profit organizations, while schools and bands are free. Spaces are limited, and the last day to register is November 28. For more information about placing an entry in the 2021 Joplin Christmas Parade, call Sally Currence, Freeman Development Office Special Events Coordinator, at 417.347.4624 or email

Event information and registration is also available at

About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit


Lisa Olliges, Marketing & Media Relations Coordinator
Freeman Health System

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