Debra Grice (left) and cousin Carissa Grice rode the Harlem Girls Scout Troop 722's float during Grovetown's Christmas parade Saturday afternoon.
Photo by Jim BlaylockHundreds of area residents congregated along a two-mile stretch of Robinson Avenue Saturday afternoon to see the annual Grovetown Christmas Parade.
Many came to see loved ones riding on one of the colorful floats, most came because it is tradition and others came to be imbued with the spirit of Christmas.
"I came out here because I was hoping it would help me catch the Christmas spirit," said Randy Bates, of Hephzibah, viewing the parade from his lawn chair perch in the bed of his truck.
The Grovetown parade was typical of many small-town America parades: high school marching band, Santa Claus, children dressed in Christmas garb riding in trailers towed by trucks, fez-wearing Shriners driving go-carts.
But what made the Grovetown parade stand out for many spectators is the intimate feel of the event.
"I like that I can sit here with my kids on the side of the road and you can almost reach out and touch it," said Christel Hammond, of Evans, who watched the parade with her children Caroline and Trey, both 5, her nephew, Stephen Hammond, also 5, and her mother-in-law, Sylvia Peppenger, of Grovetown. "The kids love it because they feel connected to it. They can interact with it. People on the floats look right at them and say 'Merry Christmas."'
Highlights of the parade included grand marshal William "Bill" Wood, a retired postmaster from Grovetown, riding in a gray convertible Ford Mustang, ambulances and fire trucks of all shapes and size, the Dynamic Steppers dancing to 1970s-themed Christmas music and bushels of candy being tossed to crowds by several passing floats.
"It's like a second Halloween," said Grovetown resident Chris Spillers, who watched the parade with family and friends. "I'm having a great time, and all the candy definitely doesn't hurt."
J.B. Gordon, of Grovetown, and his daughter Natalie, 3, enjoyed the candy as well, but that wasn't there reason for attending.
"You're waiting to see Santa, right?" Gordon asked his daughter, who aggressively nodded yes. "Also, my wife (Diane) and other daughter (Olivia, 6) are in the parade. They're with the Girl Scout float. But, mainly, we came to see Santa."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.