The Elkin/Jonesville Christmas Parade was one of the longest in memory for many of those gathered to watch it in Sunday’s chill. This year’s theme, “The Great Outdoors,” was well represented by all participants, but most particularly by Lowe’s Hardware, who created a “Christmas on the Trails” float.
Taylor Irwin and her family were regular attendees of the parade attending for more than 20 years. “It’s a family tradition,” said Irwin as she waited for family members to emerge from 222 Public House Sunday. “We come here every year.”
Brad Bushong and his 6-year-old son Henry had not been present at the parade quite as long though, like many families, the addition of a child encouraged their regular attendance. Originally from St. Louis, Brad enthused, “I love the parade. For small-town America, this is the best parade ever. It’s got lots of variety.”
Henry was so overwhelmed by the participating floats, emergency vehicles and classic car that he was unable to choose a favorite. “I like everything,” Henry explained.
Many entries in the parade had multiple sponsors pairing a business with a non-profit organization such as the Elkin band, which was partnered with Castrol.
Even among the spectators was entertainment. In a Grinchy costume instead of his usual scary garb, Shawn Groce and his Operation Zombie Claus was present to pass small toys out to children and to remind others of his toy drive for the Ebenezer Children’s Home in Wilkes. “I only do the parade to advertise the toy drive I put together every year. Southern on Main was gracious enough to allow us use of their establishment to play Christmas music, paint faces, hand out toys, and mingle with the ones that mean the most, the kids.”
Numerous churches participated from all around the Tri-County area including Abstract, Jonesville Church of God Youth, Jonesville Pentecostal Holiness, New Day Assembly of God, Rachel Baptist, Swaims Baptist, and West Yadkin Baptist. Several Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops also were represented as well as the Girl Scouts.
Interspersed with the floats and cars were marching bands from Starmount, East Wilkes and Elkin high schools playing Christmas tunes to the accompaniment of their respective drill teams.
In addition to the towns of Jonesville and Elkin as well as the counties of Yadkin and Surry, many other nearby communities were represented with police, sheriff’s, fire and rescue departments including Arlington, CC Camp, Boonville, Mountain Park, Pleasant Hill, Ronda, Traphill, State Road and West Yadkin.
Katrina Foster was thrilled with the parade, saying, “It was longer, healthier with lots of good people. The kids are going to go home and get some sleep.”
Spectators were unable to keep up with the fall of mints, suckers, candy canes and other candies that flowed from floats and vehicles. Immediately following the parade, several children assisted town maintenance by gathering unclaimed treats along the parade route.
Parade entry winners were:
• Entry Most Effectively Expressing Theme “Great Outdoors” — Lowe’s Hardware
• Best High School Band — East Wilkes
• Best Non-Professional Entry — Alpha Omega Corn Maze
• Most Enthusiasm — Smith Powersports/Smith Ink.
• Best Dance Group — Pam Wurdeman
• Best Religious Entry — Maple Springs Baptist Church
• Most Unusual Entry — Countryside RV
• Best Classic Car — Eddie Salley
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.