Parade participants prepare floats for Saturday’s event

Published 9:44 am Friday, December 5, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks For more photos visit

As the Christmas parade draws nearer, participants are working to put the finishing touches on their parade floats.
More than 60 groups or individuals signed up to be a part of the 2014 Christmas parade, which will be both colorful and literary as this year’s theme is “The Wonderful World of Seuss.”
The grand marshal for this year is the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library. Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce Director Tonya Stevens said the library was selected as grand marshal because of all the work it does to help the community with literacy and other programing.
Library staff were working to complete their float for the parade this week. Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams has overseen the plans for the library’s float, which will incorporate aspects from many different Dr. Seuss books, along with other colorful elements.
“We are very excited to be the grand marshal,” Williams said. “We were thinking about the different things the library means to people, and we thought, ‘What can we do to make people happy?’ ”
One of the ways the library will be doing that is by highlighting the different Dr. Seuss books. Children who frequently come to the library will ride on the float, and volunteers will come dressed as different Dr. Seuss characters, such as the Lorax, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Fox in Socks, and of course, the Grinch.
The library’s float will be transformed in a snowy winter wonderland with an arch for the entrance to Whoville and several colorful Christmas trees.
Career Technical Education students at Elizabethton High School have been working for the past few days to transform their float into a Seuss-centered scene.
Automotive teacher Paul Linberg and STEM teacher David Campbell had their students working on the float, which includes a wooden sled and Christmas tree made by STEM students. Linberg received help from his wife Melissa and son Matthew making other decorations and costumes.
“This has been a CTE-wide project,” Linberg said. “With the exception of a Grinch mask, and a few books, we have hand-made everything on the float.”
Linberg’s wife made the fabric decorations and costumes. Art students made posters and banners for the float. Culinary arts students will be handing out candy on the night of the parade.
“We’re going all out for this,” Linberg said.
The United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County’s parade entry is the effort of many different organizations.
United Way Director Cheri Tinney said Champion Chevrolet in Johnson City donated the green truck that will be used during the parade. Antiques on Elk owner Ron McCloud donated hay bales for passengers to sit on and employees and their children from 3:Five Aviation will be dressed in festive gear riding in the back of the truck.
United Way volunteers will be carrying a banner ahead of the truck and handing out candy along the parade route.
“We will have some lively volunteers handing out 44 pounds of candy,” Tinney said. “There will possibly even be some children from Whoville.”
Not every parade entry will be full of Seussical whimsy. The Friends of Sycamore Shoals are creating a simple float donned with greenery to match the typical decorations that would have been found during Colonial times.
Other entries in the parade will be each of the county’s high school bands, several pageant queens and local leaders. The parade will be closed by Santa Claus riding high atop the Elizabethton Fire Department’s ladder truck.

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