Holiday parades highlight weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Azure blue skies, sunshine and seasonable temperatures welcomed young and old Saturday morning, as folks lined Commerce Street in Greenville.

An annual holiday rite was about to take place. Many had their cameras and camcorders ready to record the event for posterity.

n &#8220Are they coming yet?”

n &#8220Can you see anything?”

n &#8220I am see them, I can see them!”

And Greenville's Annual Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade was underway, complete with floats, twirlers, beauty queens in convertibles, vintage tractors, the local high school marching band and, of course, Santa Claus himself.

Grand Marshals for this year's event were three local heroes who protect and serve, Greenville Police Officers John Bass, Lionel Davidson and Byron Russell.

The Greenville High School Tiger Band provided holiday tunes and the Fort Dale Academy Twirlers added a festive touch in their red and white uniforms and Santa hats.

The title-holders from the various LBWCC campuses along with Miss Greater Greenville and Butler County's Junior Miss added their beauty and charm to the event.

Miss GG, Kimberly Kirby, signed autographs in the park after the parade.

&#8220I am always glad to be back in Greenville for a visit,” Kirby said with a smile.

The local Boy Scout troop, JROTC members, the Greenville High School Art Department, ASU Alumni Club, and several area churches, schools, organizations and businesses were among those with entries or marchers in Saturday's parade.

Local farmers and tractor enthusiasts who participate in Old Time Farm Day also showed off some of the vintage tractors seen at the annual October event.

This year's parade theme was &#8220Santa's Workshop,” and winners of the float and vehicle divisions were as follows:

Floats: 1st place, Alabama Power; 2nd place, Jameson Inn and 3rd place, 1st Assembly of God.

Vehicles: 1st place, Greenville Parks and Recreation; 2nd place, GLC (Giving, Loving Caring Social and Savings Club), and 3rd place, Butler County Optimist Club.

In conjunction with the parade, Greenville Main Street held &#8220Christmas in the Park” in Confederate Park that morning. Food, shopping and Santa were all a part of the event.

&#8220We've been doing well. The weather turned out perfectly for us,” said Sue Arnold, director of the Greater Greenville Service League as she prepared another cup of hot chocolate for a thirsty patron following the parade.

The GGSL raised funds for their charitable concerns

with a concessions tent, selling everything from homemade quick breads to popcorn, muffins pound cake and doughnuts. Other volunteers manned the &#8220Candy Land” tent, where youngsters could get their photos taken with jolly old Saint Nick.

A long line formed with Santa (a.k.a. Ricky Cargile) staying busy as dozens of children shared their Christmas wishes with him.

Kids could also enjoy petting some furry friends in need of a home, courtesy of the booth set up by the Butler County Humane Society.

&#8220We are always looking to find a forever home for these wonderful animals,” BCHS volunteer Kandys Killough said.