In Dec. 2 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
The 34th Russell Springs Christmas parade kicked off the holiday season locally over the weekend as hundreds flocked to Main St. Saturday night for the annual event, according first-time parade coordinator Mia Estes with the city's downtown revitalization committee.
With the temperature in the upper 30's, the weather was pleasant for the parade, themed a "Cartoon Christmas," while more than a hundred of participants and 19 floats made the trek down the street.
While Estes said this was her first parade, she said many of the city employees she worked alongside agreed this was one of the best ones they can remember.
"The participation of the crowd was excellent as well, and we had no problems," Estes said. "With so many people involved I was pleased there were no reports of injuries or anyone getting lost."
She said she had not heard a single complaint about the aesthetics of this year's parade.
"Everyone was happy and smiling," she said of the festive mood. Estes and Mayor Hollis DeHart wished to send a special thank you to Scotty Redmon who helped organize the actual lining up of floats and participants.
"He was hands-on and got it going," Estes said.
Clarissa "Moochie" Hart emceed this year's event while longtime Russell Springs Fire Chief H.M. Bottom was named the grand marshal of this year's parade. Bottom wears a number of hats in the community, including being the county's emergency management director as well as the solid waste coordinator to go along with his city duties.
Estes said this year's floats were amazing as she was taken back by the creativity and hard works the floats exhibited.
She said she was impressed with all the floats but the West 80 Church of God and the Boy Scouts Troop #241 was over the top. The West 80 Church of God float received $300 for being the grand prize winner and also won the church float category. York Construction won the business float category while the Happy Trails 4-H Club won the 'other' float category.
Estes said the Boy Scouts float, which included an acted-out skit, showed how much time and effort had been put into the float. She also said the Russell County High School dance team was her favorite of all as they performed in the street to a variety of Christmas tunes.
Amanda Cooper was named RCHS' Miss Santa while RCMS' Snow King and Queen went to Ben Roy and Skylar Smith.
Estes also wished to thank people of the community who donated military photos for display on the SuperHero Wall and Fruit of the Loom for their utilization of the "fruit" costumes on their float.
Mayor DeHart said this year's version of the parade went as good as or better than any he has been involved with.
"We had an excellent crowd," the mayor said. "Our Christmas tree lighting and the carolers from the Russell Springs Methodist Church made it seem just like a Currier and Ives Christmas."
This year's city Christmas tree was donated by Dolas McElroy.
This was the third consecutive year the downtown revitalization committee has planned the parade, which included 19 floats from churches and businesses, horse and car clubs, the RCHS Laker Band, and around 20 local emergency vehicles, among others.
The city also wished to thank this year's parade sponsors, Village Florist, Bernard Florist, Monticello Banking Company, Laker Country 104.9 FM, the Times Journal and Russell Register, Duo County Telephone and Franklin Motors as well as Holt Stables for providing horse cleanup along the parade route.