Dec. 7—A chilly breeze and a few snow flurries may seem more appropriate, but area residents took advantage of the warm weather Saturday with a huge turnout for the Athens Christmas Parade.
The 2019 parade did fill the bill with plenty of chill. This year, the National Weather Service reported 70 degrees at parade time and the crowd seemed to like it just fine.
City officials said the parade itself was one of the biggest effort, with entries like fire engines, trucks, lots of floats and even a pony cart.
The prizes for winning entries went to Faith Fellowship Church, which took the $1,000 first prize,
Athens Animal Rescue Shelter, a $700 winner for finishing second and Flossies, recipients of $500 for third. There was no charge to enter this year.
The judges were from Athens Screen Printing, KLVQ, McDonalds and Athens Chamber of Commerce.
The long line of participants moved briskly along its route from the Trinity Valley Community College Parking lot, to South Palestine Street, around the square and down Pinkerton Street, where a large group awaited at the Central Baptist Church parking linot. Another large gathering of viewers was at the parking lot in front of the True Value Hardware Store.
A large number of floats matched the parade's Candy Land theme, with depictions of peppermint sticks, marshmallows, gumdrops and the lime. There was even a rolling gingerbread house.
Walkers along the route tossed candy to kids.
Santa traveled the route, not in a sled, but in a big, red, Athens Fire Department ladder truck.
And what did the community have to say?
"The most amazing parade ever," Cheryl Boyd said.
"I know the crowd on S19 was huge," Nancy Eddy said.