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Fog doesn’t dampen holiday spirits

It was a dark, damp and foggy night – but that didn’t keep an enthusiastic crowd away Thursday evening as the Greenville Chamber of Commerce mounted its annual Christmas parade downtown.

The theme for the 2003 event was &uot;Lighting up the Holidays&uot;. The parade lived up to its theme with a plethora of entries – floats, cars, trucks and more – all sporting glowing, twinkling lights that transformed Commerce St. into a veritable Christmas wonderland.

Some parade watchers started lining up an hour before the scheduled 6 p.m. kickoff in order get a good spot to see all the festivities. Chairs and stools were brought along by some to make their wait a more restful one. Many used the time to enjoy a visit with friends and neighbors.

Children and adults alike craned their necks and strained to hear the distant sound of the Greenville High School Band’s drums and horns as time grew near in hopes the parade would be soon headed their way.

While the event was a few minutes late getting underway, any grumbling was soon replaced with laughter, cheers and lots of &uot;oohs&uot; and &uot;aahs&uot; as the parade’s many entries passed by.

Grand Marshal for the event was Major Rick Boutwell, Greenville native and former Air Force Thunderbird pilot. The Alabama National Guard, Butler County Sheriff’s Office and many other local groups, clubs, businesses, churches and organizations participated in the annual holiday spectacular.

First place winner in the float division was an impressive and reverent display by Christian Life Ministries, with second place honors going to Pest Tech’s delightful ‘Snoopy aglow’ entry.

Greenville Parks and Recreation took first place honors in the vehicles division with the entry from Bill Conway Construction earning second place honors.

Chamber of Commerce Director Carol Lee was well pleased with the event.

&uot;I thought we had a really great turnout, considering the weather. We have never before had so many float entries. I think people are really catching on as to why we have these nighttime parades – the lights and music add so to the event,&uot; she noted.