ELIZABETHTOWN — Under a warm, sunny sky the fifth annual Elizabethtown Christmas Parade brought hundreds to the downtown business district along West Broad and South Poplar streets on Sunday.
Folks began to claim their spots and set up their blankets and chairs more than an hour before the 3 p.m. starting time. Some got to see the entry of numerous floats as they made their way to the parade’s starting point at the Elizabethtown Municipal Building.
“We never miss this parade,” said Jennifer Smithwick of Council. “Right after Thanksgiving, all the children start asking about the parade here — mostly because of the candy and Santa.”
If it was candy the young’uns were after, they weren’t disappointed. Candy of all kinds cascaded from nearly every vehicle, fire truck and float during the more than 30-minute parade.
For many of the parade watchers, the Sudan mini-cars were a big hit — and there were three waves of them along the parade route. There were also a bevy of pageant winners, elected officials, classic cars, floats, horses and even Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
“I like the horses,” said 7-year-old Christina Baldwin of Elizabethtown. “Their feet make neat noises on the road.”
As the parade began to wind down, a pair of huge horses pulling a buggy appeared. The loud clip-clop of the horses’ feet quickly caught the attention of most children, and when they saw the red suit and white beard in the buggy, many of the children screeched “There’s Santa!”
Easily the biggest attraction of the parade, Santa Claus waved to the crowd lining both sides of the street as the youngest of children jumped, waved and hollered at the jolly ol’ elf.
And then West Broad and South Poplar streets went quiet. The blankets and chairs were gathered up and folks headed for their vehicles. Within minutes, all that was left were pieces of unclaimed candy and a few folks who looked for merchants still open.
The Christmas parade brought to a close three days of Black Friday weekend shopping for the holidays.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.