Freeman Health System and City of Joplin Announce 2023 Christmas Parade Theme

Image Credit: Freeman Health System | City of Joplin Mayor Doug Lawson and Freeman Health System President and CEO Paula Baker

(Joplin, MO) – For the ninth straight year, Freeman Health System will manage the Joplin Christmas parade. That commitment involves a donation of countless man-hours to organize and orchestrate the event.

In a press conference held on Monday, October 30 at Freeman Hospital West, Doug Lawson, City of Joplin Mayor, presented a 2023 Joplin Christmas Parade permit to Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Freeman has produced the Joplin Christmas Parade since 2014, and we’re honored the City of Joplin entrusts us with this job,” Baker said during the press conference. “It’s a big production and takes hundreds of volunteer hours and many dedicated hearts to pull off an event of this magnitude. We embrace this challenge because it’s our way of giving back to the community that has supported Freeman Health System for more than 98 years.”

Both Baker and Lawson unveiled this year’s theme, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” along with the emblem, which is dominated by a smiling snowman sitting next to a Christmas-green electric guitar.

“We appreciate Freeman Health System and all of their team members who give their time and talent to host this annual holiday event,” Lawson said. “We look forward to seeing everyone come out to enjoy this year’s parade as part of their family tradition in kicking off the holiday season.”

Funds generated by the 53rd Annual Joplin Christmas Parade will go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®, which provides assistance to children from birth to 21 years of age.

“One hundred percent of every dollar raised locally stays local and helps children across 14 counties in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas,” Baker said. “Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals helps furnish and maintain the Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which provides funding for local community organizations’ pediatric needs and pediatric emergency equipment for area agencies.”

The parade will take place at 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 5, with a route starting at 15th and Main Streets and running north to Second Street.

Freeman is seeking entries for Joplin’s biggest holiday tradition. There is no fee for schools or bands, $15 for nonprofit organizations with an active 501(c) status, and all other registrations are $50. Space is limited — a maximum of 75 float entries are sought. The last day to register is November 25, but we presume spaces will be sold out before then. You can register here.

For more information about placing an entry in the 2023 Joplin Christmas Parade, call Sally Currence, Freeman Special Events Coordinator, at 417.347.4624 or email

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


Sally Currence, Freeman Special Events Coordinator
Freeman Health System

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