It looked like a miracle on Main Street as hundreds gathered in downtown Washington for the beloved Christmas parade, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
âIt’s a great turnout,â said Von Lacock of Washington. He and his wife, Lynn, arrived early in the evening to claim seats along Main Street – prime real estate to watch their granddaughter parading in the parade.
Before the parade began, couples and families crossed off items from their Christmas lists at the Holiday Market (sponsored by the Observer-Rapporteur and Cricket) in the community pavilion, where local vendors set up shop, food trucks served up delicious treats, and shows – including Elvis – took center stage.
Horse drawn carriages carried people through the city center decorated with Christmas lights.
While some strolled through the market or admired a city center adorned with Christmas lights from the plush seat of a horse-drawn carriage, others crowded into the local shops and restaurants, which remained open to shoppers and diners until ‘after the parade.
The Nutrition Fix featured Katie Hahn face paint and DIY adornments. Your CBD along Main Street, which usually closes at 5 p.m., was kept open late by Santa Claus, who posed for photos with passers-by.
âThis is our second parade,â said Beth Jolliffee, who owns and operates Your CBD with her husband, Chris (Kringle, Friday night). “We are really excited.”
At 7 p.m., Washington Mayor Scott Putnam and Police Chief Robert Wilson led the parade through town.
âWe actually need this – there’s so much going on, with COVID,â said Kim McKnight, who has brought her grandchildren, Zander and Zayden Duchess, to grab some candy and enjoy the evening. âIt’s really a big parade.
The floats dazzled the spectators and the dancers wowed the crowd with acrobatic movements. Washington and Trinity High School groups performed with instruments shining with festive lights.
The children collected candy and fought with lightsabers from a street vendor. Participants chatted animatedly, captured the moment on their phone’s camera, and grew homesick.
âI was coming with my grandmother,â said Rhonda Glendenning of Washington, who brought her granddaughter, Samantha, to see the parade. âSince I was little, I have been coming to the parade.
Several first-time parade attendees ogled the floats and tapped their feet to the beat of the music, and die-hards seemed just as thrilled with the sights of the season as those who had never been to the event.
âI’ve been (coming) my whole life, every year there is one,â said Glenda Cox, who stood on the sidewalk with her husband, Ed, as they waited for their church chariot to pass. “Every adult still has a child in him.”
And the magic of this event certainly brings out the best in everyone.