By: Rebecca Herman
Freelance Writer

Small towns across East Tennessee have begun their holiday celebrations and on Saturday, December 5, Johnson County Chamber of Commerce kicked off the season with a truly enchanted event. Hundreds gathered around Main Street to participate in the yearly Christmas Parade which was titled “A Storybook Christmas” and was headed up by Nancy Drake.
“The Pride of Johnson County” marching band headed up the parade playing Christmas classics and was followed by 20 floats, interesting animals, various classic cars, motorcycles, police cars, and fire trucks.
In recent years the decision was made for the parade to take place in the evening. With it taking place after dark the floats can be decked out in lights for an added magical touch.
The businesses and organizations that participated in the parade created displays based on the theme of “A Storybook Christmas,” so parade goers were able to see some of their favorite Christmas time stories come to life. Some of the crowd favorites were The Grinch, Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang, Polar Express, and of course Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from the Disney movie “Frozen.
“Anna and Olaf were my favorite part of the parade,” said 6 year old Selena. “My sister even loved them and danced when she heard ‘Let it Go’.”
Along with the storybook characters, parade goers also heard and saw classic country and bluegrass music playing from several floats, cheering from the many cheer squads in the county schools, and a dance squad’s choreographed performance to “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
Many churches were represented in the parade as well. Each one expressed the “real reason for the season” in their own unique way.
“I loved all the church floats,” said Kim Thomas. “I especially enjoyed the float where the scriptures were being read, it’s a great reminder of why we are celebrating this time of year.”
Another popular aspect to the Johnson County Christmas Parade is the amount of goodies that children are able to receive from the businesses and organizations in the parade.
“I love how much candy I got, but my favorite thing was the teddy bear that someone threw to me,” said nine-year-old Shayanna.
“This parade shows the love and care that the local businesses and organizations have for the children of Johnson County. I love seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces,” said mother of four, Rosanna Eggers.

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