The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) will once again enter its popular lighted bus in the Springfield Jaycees Christmas Parade this coming Saturday. 2015 will be the fourth year, and SMTD volunteers try to raise the bar with some new addition each year.
“Our maintenance department takes a lot of pride in their work day in and day out,” said SMTD Managing Director Frank Squires, “and decorating and programming this bus is a chance to volunteer on something they can see the community enjoy every year.”
Nearly 30,000 lights cover the mainline bus, which is requested from communities and businesses all over the Springfield area. SMTD even got calls from across the country when the bus was mentioned in a story in the industry’s Busline Magazine this year. The lights are programmed across 16 different channels, which took almost 30 volunteer hours, and they are powered by an external generator attached specifically for the lights and speakers.
Squires said SMTD employees and their families volunteer to walk with the bus in the parade, and the bus is driven by an experienced operator nearing retirement. SMTD is adding a new feature this year but won’t reveal it until the parade on Saturday.
After the parade, the bus will make special appearances in the Springfield area during the month of December. Employee volunteers will be collecting unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Here's the full schedule:
|Saturday, December 5th||Springfield Christmas Parade||7:30 PM|
|Tuesday, December 8th||Kmart on Wabash Ave.||5-8 PM|
|Wednesday, December 9th||Walmart on Freedom Drive||5-8 PM|
|Thursday, December 10th||Kmart on Clear Lake Ave.||5-8 PM|
|Friday, December 11th||HyVee||5-8 PM|
|Saturday, December 12th||Walmart on Dirksen Pkwy.||5-8 PM|
|Tuesday, December 15th||J.C. Penney||5-8 PM|
|Wednesday, December 16th||Menard's - South Side||5-8 PM|
|Thursday, December 17th||St. John's Children's Hospital||5-8 PM|
|Friday, December 18th||Farm & Home on Wabash Ave.||5-8 PM|
|Saturday, December 19th||Chatham Park||5-8 PM|
|Tuesday, December 22nd||Walmart on 6th St.||5-8 PM|
|Wednesday, December 23rd||Downtown Transfer Center||4-6 PM|