Washington Park residents celebrate with a parade

Published 5:08 pm Sunday, December 21, 2008

By Staff
Golf carts, lawn mowers usher in Christmas season
Lifestyles &Features Editor
WASHINGTON PARK — Better add one more to the list of Beaufort County Christmas parades.
Residents of Washington Park gathered Saturday afternoon for their traditional holiday procession, complete with decorated golf carts and bikes, lawn mowers and a neighborhood dog or two.
There were no marching bands or fancy floats, but what the parade lacked in size it more than made up for in creativity and enthusiasm.
Johnson, who moved to the neighborhood shortly before the holiday season last year, said she inherited the parade project from its previous organizer.
Although no one was sure how long the parade has been a Washington Park tradition — “Just put down we’ve been doing it for years,” one celebrant said with a laugh — they all agreed it is something the residents look forward to each Christmas.
The parade is a decidedly family affair, it seems.
Louis Taylor steered his bright red riding lawn mower, pulling a trailer in which his young nephew Drew Cox rode. Drew, the 2-year-old son of Paula and Casey Cox, wore sunglasses and a Santa hat and played a kazoo.
The mower and trailer were decorated in a hodgepodge of Christmas ornaments, ribbon and garland. A place of honor was given to a Santa Claus figurine Taylor said was given to him by his grandmother in the 1950s.
The parade entry was pulled together in a short period of time, added Taylor, who said this was the first year he participated in the celebration.
Dr. Josh Tayloe drove a golf cart, bearing a large green wreath and draped in garland. He was accompanied by three of his 12 grandchildren; Mark, Joshua and John Watson were in town visiting from Malaysia.
Sisters Taylor and Katie Baxter adorned their bicycles with gold garland and joined the procession, accompanied by their parents, Rob and Anne Baxter, on foot.
Leading the parade and rallying the troops was grand marshal Dewey Walker. After circling through the Washington Park neighborhood, the participants gathered for hot chocolate and cookies in the playground.