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Goshen parade: ‘The town was packed’

To say the 2008 Goshen Christmas Parade was a great success would be an understatement.

Streets were blocked into town Friday night and the downtown area was packed with people from around the county and beyond. When the parade came marching down Main Street, more people came out of the woodwork – actually came out into the cold.

Carter Sanders, town council member, said it was an amazing number of people who braved the frosty night to watch the hometown parade.

“It was fantastic,” Sanders said. “This was our fifth Christmas parade and it was the biggest and the best ever. Several people estimated the crowd at more than a thousand and don’t know the exact number, but I do know that town was packed.”

Sanders said the huge crowd was made up primarily of people from the Goshen area.

“I think the reason that the Goshen Christmas Parade is so successful is because we are flexible,” Sanders said, laughing. “Really, though. We don’t require registration or anything like that. You just come and get in the parade. And, too, we’re much more than a parade.

“At some parades, as soon as the parade is over, the crowd is gone, but not here. We have a lot of things for people of all ages to do.”

The Goshen High School JROTC Color Guard led the parade and, despite the cold, many hats came off as Old Glory passed. Marching bands from Goshen, Pike County High and Zion Chapel high schools kept the sound of Christmas music in the air from beginning to end.

Motorcycles, beauty queens and floats filled with friendly folks, fire trucks and even construction vehicles added to the fun and excitement of the parade.

And, when the parade was over, the people did stay around.

The adults stood around and talked, played bingo and chowed down at the Goshen Nutrition Center’s camp stew supper that included the “house” camp stew made by Carter Sanders and his crew, grits, green beans, slaw, crackers, peach cobbler and ice tea.

Sanders’ stew was made the traditional way, with beef, pork, chicken, potatoes, onions and a few kernels of corn and secret spices. “We made nearly 400 quarts and all of it was sold,” Sanders said. “All of the proceeds will benefit the Goshen Senior Center.”

The Center also sponsored a camp stew cookoff that was won by Johnny Taylor of the Old Barn Restaurant in Goshen. This is the second year Taylor has taken home the blue ribbon. In other years, the Rhodes brothers, Danny and Carroll, had a lock on the prize. While the grownups were enjoying activities especially for them, the kids jumped and slid on a couple of huge inflatables, danced to their kind of music, tossed balls and visited Santa Claus.

And, a long while later, the crow began to drift toward the warmth of home but Sanders said it would be safe to say that a good time was had by all.