Seven-year-old James Rittwage stayed on a mad dash for candy.
A float from the Georgia Forestry's Columbia County Unit displays a patriotic theme at Saturday's Harlem Lions Club Christmas Parade. The float took first place in the commercial category.
Photo by Preston Sparks
Six-month-old Ashton Strock stared in amazement at his first Christmas parade.
And Mary Boyer, standing side-by-side with her great-grandson, waited patiently for the person that she said would make the holiday season official: "Santa!" she exclaimed.
It was the annual Harlem Lions Club Christmas Parade, which traveled down U.S. Highway 78 and then through downtown Harlem on Saturday.
The event included about 40 entries and attracted approximately 4,000 spectators, said organizer Scott Dean. As always, candy was thrown from the floats to children. One change was the intermingling of traditional Christmas colors with the red white and blue of several American flags waving from floats, cars and horses.
"It's kind of nice," said Michele Rittwage of Martinez about the patriotic theme.
"It's a shame, though, that it takes a tragedy to make us pay attention," said Amy Simmons of Harlem.
Several who attended the parade said it also was a chance for them to relive a tradition.
"We come out to this every year," said Sharon Moon of Martinez, who attended with her 4-year-old son, Madison Moon. "He likes to see the tractors."
Still, for others, it was a completely new experience.
"We've got a little tiny one this year," said Janis Hall, who brought along her six-month-old grandson, Ashton Strock. "This is his first."
The Georgia Forestry's Columbia County Unit won in the parade's commercial category and the CSRA Square Dancers took first place in the noncommercial category.
Also, in the commercial category, Shaw Industries placed second and Gold Cross and Graystone Petting Zoo tied for third.
Placing second in the noncommercial category was the Girl Scouts of America Harlem Troop 722. In third was the Harlem Middle School cheerleaders and the Columbia County 4-H Horse Club.
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