Pike County gears up for holiday parades, events

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In some places, it might be Christmastime in the city but, in Pike County, it’s Christmastime everywhere.

Three Christmas parades will usher in the 2013 Christmas season next week and everyone is invited to all of them beginning Monday night in Troy and continuing Tuesday night in Brundidge and Friday night in Goshen.

Caitlin Sexton, student assistant to Shelia Jackson, Troy public relations director, said already 84 entries have signed on for the Troy Christmas Parade and entries will be accepted until noon on Monday.

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“We have a growing number of entries and good variety of entries, including the floats of the different City departments,” Sexton said. “We have floats sponsored by businesses and bands, cheerleaders, just a wide variety of entries. Of course, the Troy University Sound of the South Marching Band will announce the coming of Santa Claus and bring the parade to a rousing close.”

The Troy Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. with lineup on Elm Street.

“Elm Street will be blocked off at 5:15 p.m. so we want to remind everyone of that,” Sexton said. “The parade may be viewed beginning around the Troy Police Station and around the Square. The parade will come down Elm Street, turn left at the square and make its way around the square. The parade will turn at SheBANG! and pickup will be in the Pike County Courthouse parking lot.”

The lighting of Troy’s Official Christmas Tree on the downtown square and all of the festivities surrounding the lighting will immediately follow the parade.

Brundidge’s Annual Christmas Parade and Lighting Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Dorthea Dow, president of the sponsoring Brundidge Business Association, said the Pike County High School Jazz Band will entertain as the crowd gathers for the parade beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The parade will feature bands, churches, clubs and civic organizations and lots of fun surprises.

“This year, we are just going to line up and parade,” Dow said. “It would be helpful for those who plan to enter the parade to call Lamar Steed at 334-735-2306. But it’s not necessary.”

Dow said what makes the Brundidge Christmas Parade extra special is that students in grades one through six at Pike County Elementary School participate in the Jingle Bell Jog.

“They meet in the parking lot of BB&T and are given bells to ring as they fall in line with the parade,” Dow said. “They jingle the bells so Santa Claus will hear them and know what good boys and girls they have been. We do ask that a parent is with each child.”

As the parade begins, the town’s traditional string lights and decorations will be lighted and show the way for Santa who has promised to come to town Tuesday.

Following the parade, the PCES children will sing a couple of songs at the Christmas tree lighting and then visit with Santa Claus.

Pike County High School will sell hot chocolate and coffee and the elementary school will sell popcorn. Both are fundraisers for the individual schools.

On Friday night, Goshen will host its Annual Christmas Parade, which will make its way through downtown Goshen, and, if history repeats itself, people will line both sides of the street as the town welcomes Christmas.

The festivities will get underway at 5 p.m. at Town Hall when food vendors will have good things to eat and entertainment will begin as the crowd gathers. Jeffrey Knight, the Hephzibah Baptist Church Choir and SheBANG! Cloggers will be on stage outside Town Hall.

At 6:15 p.m. the Rev. Jared Buchanan, pastor of Goshen Baptist Church, will read the Christmas Story as prelude to the Goshen Christmas Parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

“You don’t have sign up for the Goshen Christmas Parade, you just need to show up,” said Goshen Mayor Jack Waller. “The parade will line up around the new Goshen High School gym and come right through town. Lights on the floats are good but optional.

“The theme for this year’s Goshen Christmas Parade is ‘Christmas Miracles’ so people might want to keep that in mind as they plan and design their entries. We will give first, second and third prizes for the best floats.”

Following the parade, children will be invited across the street to Jeff Warren’s pool house to make their Christmas wishes known to Santa Claus and have their pictures taken with the Jolly Ol’ Elf.

“Each child will get one free photo with Santa,” Waller said. “There will be a small charge for additional photos. For the older people, there will be Bingo in the Senior Center.

“We’ll have something for everyone and we invite everyone to Goshen Friday night for our parade and all the other activities. It will be a great night in Goshen.”