Washington celebrates the Christmas season|Holly-day begins with parade

Published 9:37 am Saturday, December 4, 2010

Contributing Writer

Hundreds of celebrants lined the streets of downtown Washington Saturday morning for the city’s traditional Christmas parade.
The event was organized by the Washington Kiwanis Club and sponsored by the City of Washington, according to club member Gil Davis.
“We’ve been involved with this for about eight years,” Davis said as floats began arriving for the procession. “It’s just a good time for all.”
Davis said the parade draws anywhere from 50 to 75 entries each year, although last year’s parade was smaller due to inclement weather. This year, sunny skies and chilly weather provided the perfect setting for the holiday event.
Among those appearing in the parade, perched on floats or riding in convertible automobiles, were such notables as elected officials and beauty pageant winners; among the latter were the reigning Miss Beaufort County, Marcrissa Carswell, and Little Miss Independence, Logan Dail.
 Beaufort County schools were well represented with bands and extracurricular clubs; in fact, the area’s youth turned out in force as part of church groups, Scout troops, dance troops and community organizations.
Also featured were groups from Beaufort County Community College, area fire and rescue personnel, a local antique tractor club and classic automobiles.
As is tradition, the last entry in the parade was a City of Washington fire truck carrying Santa Claus, who was accompanied by Sparky the Fire Dog.
While most of the spectators were from Beaufort County, the parade and other weekend festivities in Washington served as a magnet for visitors from throughout eastern North Carolina.
Daniel Gregory, 8, of Wake Forest said his favorite part of the parades were the various fire trucks representing departments from Washington and surrounding communities.
But Barrett Smith, 9, of Greenville gave a short and sweet answer when asked what he enjoyed most about the Washington parade.
“The candy,” he said with a smile, showing off a handful of candy canes and other goodies distributed to spectators during the event.