WEAVER— Thousands of holiday revelers lined a half-mile route to watch the annual Weaver Christmas parade Saturday morning. The parade snaked from the elementary school to Elwell Park where holiday festivities were held including a chili contest.
Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis said he was very pleased with the weather and the turnout. He added that this is the first time the parade had three marching bands.
“This is the perfect weather; I mean how many times have we been able to say you can wear shorts and t-shirts to a Christmas parade — This is like Miami beach; it’s warm, it’s comfortable, everybody's out having a good time,” Willis said.
Patrick Jones and his fiance, Angela Holt, watched the parade from the Bearcat Express convenience store on Main Street. Jones was wearing a Santa hat that had a zig-zag and windblown look to it.
“The parade means a lot; togetherness, families getting together and celebrating the Yuletide and Jesus’s birthday, that’s what it’s all about,” Jones said.
Maxine Smith and her husband of 54 years were watching the parade from the back of a pickup truck on Anniston Street.
“We just love parades; we started coming when our grandchildren and their children were in it — so we just keep coming — trying to support our town,” Smith said.
A stream of vintage cars, floats, marching bands and other groups threw candy to kids who scrambled in the streets to collect their confections. Tarah Mayall, 6, from White Plains held up a fishing net to catch candy — her efforts paid off as halfway through the parade her net was getting heavy.
Brandy Laymen from White Plains watched the parade with her 18-month-old daughter, Harper. Laymen’s other daughter was in the marching band. Laymen said this was Harper’s first Christmas parade.
“I hope she gets a little bit of excitement — she gets the thrill of all of it. To me it’s magical; I want her to have that same experience so hopefully she will,” Laymen said.
Jennifer Edwards also from White Plains watched the parade with her family. Her daughter was in the color guard in the White Plains marching band.
“It’s fun to get the community together and even from the other schools that aren't from Weaver to participate in support of each other,” Edwards said.