Parades bring out the crowds and Santa

Dec. 02, 2012 @ 07:52 AM

Under a sunny sky and temperatures hovering around 68 degrees, parade units marched along Main Street, Spindale, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday before a crowd of onlookers lining the streets.

By 5 p.m. the parade units reconvened for the traditional march down Main Street in Rutherfordton, this time, day had had turned to dawn and the units marched under the Christmas lights.

 The parade was the final event for the Rutherfordton’s year-long 225th anniversary celebration and committee co-chairs John and Frankie McWhorter led the contingent of parade units as the grand marshals. Surrounded by their four grandchildren, they were barely visible in the car.

It was also a warm evening as folks lined Main Street in Rutherfordton, just as they had earlier in the day to cheer on their favorite marchers.

Shirley Lavender was among those at Spindale, waiting patiently to see her grandchildren, who were riding on the Gilkey Baptist Church float. I don’t think they’ll be throwing out candy this year. . .maybe just hand it out because of safety,” she said.

“But I remember as a young child, running out there and getting all the candy,” Lavender said.

Danielle McKelvey, 9, was clutching her Iphone waiting for her little brother to make his appearance with the Boy Scouts in Spindale. She was determined to shut a photo.

Haiden Bumgarner, 6, and his brother, Nathan, 1, peered around the sidewalk crowd when he heard sirens from the police cars, and announced the parade was here.

Ruth Jones, 91, of Rutherfordton, was driven to the Spindale parade by her son, Dr.Frank Jones. Decked out in her red sweater, with necklace of tiny Christmas lights, she said, “I love a parade.”

Youth church groups, scouts, dancers, the R-S Central and East Rutherford High School bands appeared in both parades, playing Christmas music to the delight of parade watchers.

Billy Callahan was among those watching in Rutherfordton and was very excited to see relatives on the Green Hill Baptist Church float. Saturday marked his 31st birthday and he was celebrating at the parade with his parents.

Folks walked along the parade route handing out candy canes and bubble gum, just as Lavender predicted.

Santa Claus riding in a mull-drawn wagon, guided by Dr. Hobart and Helen Rogers of Rutherfordton, brought up the rear of the parades.

The Christmas parade seasons ends today as the Ellenboro  parade kicks off today at 3 p.m. The parade lines up at the former Ellenboro School and will march through town, ending at Bethel Baptist Church.