In Dec. 3 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
With perfect weather and hundreds of onlookers, the 33rd annual Russell Springs Christmas parade on Main St. helped to usher in the holiday season locally last Saturday night.
Parade viewers clogged both sides of Main St. as more than 100 participants awed the crowd with songs, sights and other distinct sounds.
The theme for this year's parade was "Fondest Memories of a Country Christmas," according to parade organizer Kenvie Reese, who is a member of the Russell Springs Downtown Revitalization Committee.
"With all the response we've gotten, I'd say it went off pretty smooth," Reese said. "It was a good turnout and a good evening with no major problems."
The committee planned the parade for the second straight year.
Russell Springs Mayor Hollis DeHart said the parade lasted one hour and 32 minutes, a good pace for so many entrants.
"We had a lot of floats and 17 or 18 emergency vehicles," DeHart said. "I was thrilled at the way it worked. We had a few hiccups and a street or two was closed that shouldn't have been but we'll correct that for next year."
Numerous floats, horses, clubs, pageant winners, classic cars and tractors participated in the parade as well as the featured guest, Santa Claus.
Mike Bunch emceed the event and was joined on stage by Parade Grand Marshal and longtime city employee Rondal Rexroat and his wife, Merlene, Russell Springs Mayor Hollis DeHart and his wife, Jane, Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates and downtown revitalization committee members Pam Pierce and Michelle Smith.
According to Smith, the first place float award of $1,000 went to Bernard Ridge Church of God, second place $500 went to Liberty Baptist Church and third place $250 went to the float of the Adair County Jaycees.
Mayor Hollis DeHart also gave out a mayor's cup this year and his pick went to Elvis York and his parade of lights.
Russell County's MaKenna Meeks, the 2009 Little Miss Kentucky winner, served as co-grand marshal and also joined the others on stage, along with her family.
"I just want to thank everyone who helped us put this together," DeHart said. "We appreciate them so much."
Reese said the sponsors for this year's parade was Don Franklin Chevy, Duo County Telephone, Henson Ace Hardware, First National Bank, Country Folks Realty, Monticello Banking Company, Bank of Jamestown and Sprint.
Special thanks goes out to Don Franklin Chevy, Duo County, Russell County Florist, Russell Springs Methodist Youth, Jimmy Dudgeon, Billy Grider, Denver Wilson, Ray Barrett, Lisa Mann, John Carter, Russell Springs City Employees, WJRS, WHVE, the Russell Register and the Times Journal.