Leading the Big Spring Herald Community Christmas Parade this year will be an individual who lives up to the theme — “A Wild West Christmas.”
Grand marshal for the Dec. 3 event will be Howard College Rodeo Coach Greg Kernick.
“We are really happy that Greg has agreed to serve as grand marshal of this year's parade,” said Herald Publisher Ron Midkiff. “As a coach, he has built a competitive Howard College program that holds its own in perhaps the toughest rodeo region in the nation, while also preparing his students for success outside of the arena. As a former competitor, Greg was a excellent roper and excelled at steer wrestling — and it doesn't get any wilder than that.”
Kernick is a Kansas native who graduated from Panhandle State University with degrees in agricultural education and agribusiness and received his master's degree in educational leadership at Northern Arizona University. He spent two years as an assistant coach at Panhandle State and five years with the reins at Cochise College before saddling up at Howard College in 1999.
He continues to compete from time to time, but his coaching duties and his family — wife Rhonda, son Trevor and daughter Kaylee keep him very busy.
“It is a great honor to be asked to be the grand marshal,” said Kernick. “I feel like that is something usually reserved for folks who have been around longer than I have, but I am very pleased. It's a big deal in the Kernick household.”
Kernick will be leading the 26th edition of the lighted parade, which routinely draws 50 to 70 entries. There is no charge to participate and there are five basic categories: individual/family, civic/school, commercial, individual and mounted.
Three awards will be presented to eligible entries: Best of Show ($100), which is best interpretation of the theme; Publisher's Award ($75), for best use of lighting; and the Grand Marshal's Award ($50), for best costuming. The Herald will also be awarding certificates in the five categories.
To be eligible, entries must be submitted no later than Nov. 11. Others will be allowed to enter after the deadline, but will not be eligible for prizes.
Entry forms appear regularly in the Herald or they may be obtained at the Herald office, 710 Scurry.
Anyone who has questions about the event is asked contact Rick Nunez, parade coordinator, at 432-264-7331 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org 
“We're looking forward to another great community parade and to make it happen, we need your help. Whether you are an individual, part of a church or civic group, Boy Scout Troop, club, marching band or a business, we hope you'll consider taking part in this year's parade,” Nunez said. “As a group project, putting together a float and working up some costumes can be a lot of fun and foster teamwork. Use your imagination and see what you can create.”