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Parades usher in the holiday season this week

Pike County celebrates the coming of the Christmas season like few other rural counties. Three Christmas parades will usher in the season, beginning Monday night with the Troy Christmas Parade, followed by the Brundidge Christmas Parade on Tuesday night and the Goshen Christmas Parade on Friday night.

Shelia Jackson, director of tourism for the city of Troy, said this year’s parade will follow in the same tradition as the many other Christmas parades in the city.

The parade will get underway at 6 p.m. and will follow its usual downtown route.

“Most people like to watch the parade from the square because the downtown area is so beautifully decorated,” Jackson said. “We have 85 entries and expect a few more by the Monday morning deadline.”

The parade will feature locally designed floats, ambassadors, kids, “whistles and bells” and, of course, bands.

“We’ll have several local school bands and Troy University’s South of the South,” Jackson said. “Santa Claus will be a highlight of the parade and he has promised to stay around for pictures with good little boys and girls at the Gazebo, following the lighting of the Troy Community Christmas Tree.”

The lighting of the community Christmas tree by Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford will be immediately following the parade and everyone is encouraged to stay for this special ceremony.

The Brundidge Christmas Parade will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday night and will take a Main Street route through the downtown area.

The town’s historic string Christmas lights will be turned on ceremoniously by Mayor Jimmy Ramage and that will be the signal for the parade to get underway.

Lamar Steed, Brundidge Business Association parade chair, said the parade will feature more than 50 entries, including the Jingle Bell Jog for children and St. Nick himself.

“The town’s community Christmas tree will be lighted for the first time and children will be invited to gather around the Christmas tree on the City Hall grounds and sing Christmas songs with Lenny Trawick and Henry Everett. Children may drop their letters to Santa in the mailbox next to the Christmas tree.”

At 6 p.m. Friday, the Goshen Christmas Parade will take center stage on Goshen’s main street.

Carter Sanders, town councilman, said the Goshen Christmas Parade has a “casual” lineup.

“Just show up and we’ll find you a place to lineup,” he said. “This year’s theme is ‘Cowboy Christmas’ because we now have a PCA rodeo in Goshen. People can have a lot of fun with this theme so we invite everyone to enter the parade or just come and enjoy it.”

Lights are no longer a requirement for the Goshen Christmas Parade but Sanders said that lights add a lot to the parade so they are encouraged.

“The more lights, the more music, the merrier the parade,” he said.