Parade on Garnett draws a crowd

Dec. 02, 2013 @ 05:41 PM

Sunny weather helped warm the spirits of spectators that lined Garnett Street for Sunday’s annual parade celebrating the Christmas season.

The lineup of cars carrying elected officials and other dignitaries, floats, bands, dancers, fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles took more than an hour to traverse the parade route from Dabney Drive Extension to Rose Avenue.

Leading the parade was Henderson Mayor Pete O’Geary.

The Northern Vance High School Junior ROTC provided a color guard.

The parade halted periodically as performing units stopped before the judges’ stand to display their talents.

In the contest for the best floats, judges filled out their rating sheets as the units passed. On Monday, results were not available. Erris Dunston, planning director for the City of Henderson, said, “Winners have not been determined yet.”

As the procession passed, the crowd remained waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus. He finally appeared near the end of the parade atop a truck from the Henderson Fire Department.

That was what Jordan Whaley, age 7, was waiting for during the afternoon. His brother Jacob, 9, was more interested in the various vehicles in the parade. The two, students at Vance Charter School, were there with their father, Chris Whaley.

Other children occupied themselves scrambling for candy that some of the parade entrants tossed as they went by.

Not scrambling but taking it all in from the baby carrier his mom wore was 4-month-old Alexander Wilkins, perhaps the youngest spectator. He was there with his parents, Robert and Maribel Wilkins.

Serenity Thompson, 11 months old, watched the parade with her mother Kelly and father Elvis and grandmother Ellen Thompson. However, this wasn’t Serenity’s first Christmas parade. She attended last year when “she was in the oven,” as Elvis put it.

Representing another age group, Willie Allen, 58, said, “I’ve been going to these ever since I was growing up.”

In contrast, Abraham Bazquez said he has lived in the area for 27 years but this is the first Christmas parade he has attended.

A train added its horn to the holiday music as it passed through Henderson on tracks paralleling Garnett Street.

A couple wearing Santa Claus hats stood on the curb with two elves alongside, also in hats — presumably elf hats.

Joan Robinson, business community liaison at Kittrell Job Corps Center, decked out in a seasonally appropriate red hat, said, “I came to capture some holiday cheer.”

And holiday cheer was there in abundance.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.