Columbia County's final Christmas parade of the year took place in Harlem on Saturday alongside a new Christmas festival for the city.
The first Christmas in the Heart of Downtown Harlem was held in conjunction with the parade.
The festival featured a sidewalk sale on Main Street, performances from children's choirs, pony rides, children's entertainment, a breakfast with Santa and a pecan-recipe contest.
Hundreds of people turned out for the parade, but cold temperatures and the threat of impending rain might have kept many from attending the festival, vendors said.
"I've done more business in the last hour, now that it's closer to parade time, than I've done all day," said Loreen Reynolds, a Harlem resident who set up a crafts booth for the sidewalk sale.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Newton and son Elijah, 1, watch the parade.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Reynolds said she expects future festivals to draw more people.
"I think it will get better over time," she said. "It took the Oliver Hardy Festival 11 years to get to where it's at now."
The city's parade rolled through with several fire trucks, the Harlem High School marching band, equestrians and Santa Claus, who rode on an antique fire truck.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Newton braved the chilly temperatures to bring his 1-year-old son, Elijah, to his first Christmas parade.
"It's a nice little parade in a nice little town," he said. "I'm originally from Arkansas, so it reminds a little of home."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.