The 2010 Walker County Fair and Rodeo will officially kick off tonight, taking to the streets of downtown Huntsville in the Fair Association’s annual parade at 7 p.m.

With floats in keeping with the fair’s theme, “Blue Jeans and Country Dreams,” the parade begins at the corner of 19th Street and Sam Houston Avenue, continuing north towards 11th Street where it will turn left and continue to the Hasting’s parking lot.

“We have almost 60 entries for the parade so far,” parade co-chair Sicily Pierce said Wednesday. “We will continue to taking entries up until line-up time (at 5:30 p.m. Thursday).”

In hopes of exceeding last year’s 63 parade entries, organizers decided  to extend the entry deadline through today.

“We always want to see the parade get bigger and better than the previous year,” Pierce said. “We won’t be turning any entrants away.”

The Walker County Fair parade will include floats from each of the 2010 Walker County Fair Queen contests as well as 2009 Walker County Fair Queen Makenzie Hayman.

Fair exhibitor groups and animal categories will be represented in the parade, as well as elected officials, schools, churches, local businesses and county fire departments.

“The parade is such a good event,” Pierce said. “As one of the first events, it kicks off the fair and serves as a showcase of everything one can see if they go to the fair.”

Each float entered in the parade will be judged by three local judges, with prizes awarded in about six categories, including best overall entry and best individual entry.

Winners will be announced during the fair’s opening ceremonies, taking place at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Walker County Fairground’s Main Building.

Entry forms for the parade are available for pickup at Heartfield Florist, 1525 Sam Houston Avenue, or on the fair website, www.walkercountyfair.com. The entry fee is $5.

Line up begins at 5:30 p.m. today at 19th Street and Avenue O, with the line forming down 19th Street. Parade organizers require entrants to be checked in by 6:30 p.m., with the parade beginning promptly at 7 p.m.

For questions or more information about the parade call Pierce at (936) 295-5448 or parade co-chair Tammy Winkler at (936) 294-1674.