By Beth Cox
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Johnson County, as many gathered on Main Street Saturday night anxiously awaiting the beginning of the annual Christmas parade and hoping to get a glimpse of the man in the big red suit. The man in the big red suit affectionately known as Santa Claus made the perfect entrance or landing thanks to Steve Arnold, as he was flown in on a helicopter to his perfectly prepared spot on top of the Mountain City fire truck.
As the day gave way to evening, and the beauty of the sun slowly going down over the mountains led into the crisp night air, the parade festivities began with the military honor guard followed by Johnson County mayor Mike Taylor and family leading the parade straight through town where eager kids awaited the goodies that would be tossed their way. In between the honor guard and ending with good ole St Nick, many onlookers were greeted with over thirteen floats, a few ATVs, the Johnson County High School Band, fire trucks from fire stations across the county along with many others who just wanted to send out Christmas wishes to the right people of Johnson County.
As the beautiful Christmas floats went by, the hard work of so many was evident, and many were awarded with top honors for their outstanding floats. Johnson County Bank won first place as a business for their float with second place going to Cash Express. Under the category of nonprofit, the Johnson County Young Artists and Chorus won first place, followed by the First District Girls Scouts with second-place honors. Calvary Baptist Church’s AWANA won first place for churches with Zionville Baptist Church coming in second.
As many counties and towns struggle to get enough participation for annual Christmas parades, Johnson County is not one of them. Chamber president Gina Meade pointed out there were over thirty participants in this year’s parade, which is an outstanding number for a small county.
The Christmas Village was a nice addition to help get everyone in the Christmas mood. The village was a fun venue where there was plenty of food, music, and possibly a little shopping for everyone to enjoy.
The wonderful Christmas atmosphere ended with the lighting of the beautiful Christmas tree on Main Street on the courthouse lawn.