People came out early Friday afternoon to mingle on both sides of Main Street in Mount Gilead in anticipation of the Christmas parade. Families lined up by a new Santa House on the square built by Life Scout, Kenton Kunze, while children looked forward to the arrival of Santa and shoppers crowded into downtown stores and restaurants. Girl Scouts served cocoa and cookies provided by the Interchurch Council and families enjoyed free hot dogs and cocoa courtesy of Cornerstone Café & Grill on the Square.
Children got to see two real reindeer by Graham’s Insurance and wonder when Santa would hitch them up for Christmas deliveries. There was a live Nativity Scene on the Square where children stopped to get a look at baby Jesus in the manger. The parade floats rolled in at 7 p.m. and children’s eyes were wide with wonder at the lights of what seemed like a mile long parade.
Dwight Kirk of Mount Gilead commented that it “reminds me of a Hallmark Christmas card with people visiting, children laughing, and lighting of the tree on the square.” Kirk added that it’s was such a great parade and great to know that people in this town care so much.”
Legend Records owner, Larry Landis was pleased with the number of people who came into his shop – some to buy records and some to browse.
Chamber of Commerce Director, Cathy Francis said there were 55 parade entries with an additional dozen police and emergency vehicles. “Best Interpretation of Theme” went to the Junior and Senior Fair Board. The Morrow County Hospital won the “Spectacular light award” with their blowing snow. Morrow County Dental won the “Christmas Magic” award. Mount Gilead Marching Band won “Walking in the Light” award. The crowd loved Tidy Tim’s Grinch in the winning “Most Original or Unique” award. Several churches participated in the “Light of Christ” category with the Interchurch Council winning that award.