Waynesville Christmas Parade spreads holiday spirit
Hundreds of spectators gathered along Main Street in Waynesville Monday night to watch the town's annual Christmas parade.
More than 100 groups made up of bands, businesses, horses, dancers and of course, Santa himself entertained the crowd with a "Dreaming of a White Christmas" theme. From the brightly lit floats to the candy tossed to the crowd, this year's parade didn't disappoint.
Waynesville's Ingles store manager Jeff Henderson served as the parade's Grand Marshall, leading the parade in a red truck filled with his family.
"Each year we select somebody who plays an important role in the community, and he definitely is one who has for many many decades," said Downtown Waynesville Association Director Buffy Phillips, adding that Henderson helps out in many ways including food drives, the police and fire departments, fundraisers, civic groups, churches and more.
"It’s one way to be able to show our appreciation, as a community, back to an individual who has given so much," Phillips said.
"It's indeed a big honor. Definitely it is," said Henderson, who has been living and working in Waynesville for 45 years. "I'm just proud to be part of the community."
Parade participants were judged on their ability to capture the spirit of the community in two divisions: nonprofit and commercial.
In the nonprofit contest, the $150 first place award went to Lake Junaluska First Baptist Church; $100, second place to Beth Eden Baptist Church; and $50, third place to Antioch Baptist Church. Commercial winners will receive commemorative plaques, and the winners included first place, Belle on Main Salon; second place, Smoky Mountain Steel Horses; and third place, Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehab.
"I am so impressed with everybody in the community that is being so creative," Phillips said of the floats.
She added that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and she's had nothing but "positive comments" about the event.
"It’s a good feeling to start the holidays," she said.