The Athens Review
The Athens Christmas Parade began its new era with a big turnout, Saturday, as spectators took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to line the downtown streets.
Athens City Administrator Pam Burton said the 2012 version of the parade, the first with the city of Athens at the reigns, was a crowd pleaser. More than 75 entries were part of the lineup that featured Santa, the Grinch, numerous depictions of the Nativity, fire trucks, bands, drill teams and decorated ATV’s. The collection of participants rolled past the courthouse for almost an hour.
“We’ve had nothing but positive comments,” Burton said. “We’ve lots of calls Saturday night and this morning saying it was the best parade ever.”
Burton said the $500 grand prize for the best entry, Sponsored by Republic Services, went to the float entered by Crestway Park Dental. The entry recreated the town of Whoville from the animated Christmas classic. Rolling along on the float were, Cindy Lou and the other Who residents, as well as the evil Grinch. The Crestway Park group added to the Christmas feeling by bringing a snow machine to create flurries all around Whoville.
The winners in each of the divisions were:
• Business - Crestway Park Dental
• Church - Sand Springs Baptist Church
• Civic non-profit - Athens Bicycle Club
• School - South Athens Elementary
• Individual - Pat Bellah
• Other- Mud Digger ATV No. 34
As darkness fell, Saturday, crowds began to gather around the Courthouse square to look at the decorations and browse the arts and crafts. Santa opened his house to meet with the kids and magically lit the Christmas tree.
After the parade, the Athens Central Business Association invited the audience to come to Ginger’s Park for a showing of the classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer projected in giant detail on the side of the Henderson County Courthouse Annex.