Parade goers enjoy Seuss-themed holiday celebration

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, December 9, 2014

NW1209 Christmas Parade B 4x5C

Downtown Elizabethton was temporarily transformed into Whoville Saturday night for the annual Christmas parade.
The parade, which had the theme of “The Wonderful World of Seuss,” featured more than 60 entries and lasted a little more than an hour.
Participants included school marching bands, churches, day cares, nonprofit agencies, school and youth league sports teams and local businesses.
Chamber of Commerce Director Tonya Stevens said the parade went wonderfully considering the hurdles the weather presented earlier in the day.
“Thankfully, the rain held off once the parade got started,” she said. “We had a beautiful evening to work with after that.”
The Seuss theme was a hit with participants and attendees, according to Stevens.
“Everyone was so creative with their floats,” she said. “Everyone enjoyed seeing all the colorful floats as they went by. It seems like everyone had a big smile on their faces. It was an enjoyable family event.”
The crowds were slow to take their place along the parade route, but by the time the parade started at 6 p.m. it was hard to find an empty spot on the streets.
Norma Hughes was taking in her first Elizabethton Christmas parade. She recently moved to Carter County from North Carolina.
“I have never been to one before and I wanted to see what an Elizabethton parade was like,” Hughes said as she waited for the parade to begin. “I want to see the lights and see what the floats look like. I think it’s nice that a town has a Christmas parade and has Christ in it.”
JoAnn Greenwell and Tom Jones were at the parade to watch the Hampton High School band. Jones’ son Hunter, also Greenwell’s grandson, was one of the band members marching.
“He has put a lot of practice into getting ready for the parade,” Jones said. “He has really been looking forward to this.”
Before the start of the parade, several downtown businesses were open and some were offering specials on hot drinks and snacks for the parade watchers. Elizabethton Alliance Church hosted its annual Christmas Cafe and served free desserts, coffee and hot chocolate until the parade began.
Stevens said it was nice to see so much participation from the downtown businesses for pre-parade festivities.
“It was great to see so many folks in downtown,” she said. “They really took it upon themselves to offer specials to the spectators to get them to come out.”
Of the parade participants, some opted to take part in the judged float competition.
Winners in the competition were Mountain Air Realty, first place and Cash Express, second place in the corporate and commercial division. Harmony Freewill Baptist won first, New Hope Ministries won second and Trinity Baptist won third in the church division.
The Elizabethton Elks Lodge BPOE #1847 won first, the Elizabethton High School Career Technical Education Department won second and the Elizabethton Moose Lodge won third in the civic and school division.

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