South Butler County celebrates season

Published 6:16 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The southern end of Butler County celebrated the season in style last Saturday, kicking off with a mid-morning parade up and back down McKenzie’s Main Street.

The Georgiana Panther Band led the event, providing holiday tunes for parade goers to hum along to. Law enforcement and first responders from all across the county offered broad smiles, candy and the occasional honk of their horns or wail of their sirens, while businesses, individuals and families tricked out their golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles—and in one case, horse and wagon–with festive garlands and bows.

There were several float entries in the parade, with three of the floats earning top spots from the judges, says McKenzie town clerk Tina Powell.

“Our first place winner was Ivy Creek Clinic with their sleigh and reindeer and all the elves; second place went to Sweet Home Baptist with Mary and Joseph and all the cute little angels, and third place went to Church of the Living God with their float full of angels.”

With so few calls to town hall about the parade the preceding week, Powell was concerned the participation would be low.

“But it turned out great,” she enthused, as kids and adults alike grabbed for any leftover candy littering the pavement following Santa’s last salute from atop the big red fire engine. “Lots of entries and lots of folks turning  out to see it.”

While McKenzie’s parade was marching through downtown, the ladies of the Three Arts Club of Georgiana and Chapman were already busy selling some of the large array of baked goods on offer during their annual holiday bazaar, held at the community house in Georgiana.

Club member Brenda Gruenewald says the club made the decision to focus less on crafts and more on edible items this year—a decision that definitely paid off for the organization.

“We literally had people waiting outside the door this morning before we opened just to buy some of the homemade divinity,” Gruenewald says. “It was gone just like that.”

The club’s large selection of home-baked cakes, cookies  and  candy along with home-canned pepper jellies had sold out by the end of the day, she adds.

“We also sold 240 of our boxed lunches this year; people seemed to enjoy the addition of home-baked cookies to the fresh fruit, peppermint, sub sandwich and chips we already offered.”

Although the emphasis was on baked goods, there was also a selection of hand-tatted scarves, crocheted kitchen items, Christmas wreaths and more on offer along with books and white elephant items.

And Santa used his own special magic to be in a parade as well as on hand to meet his young (and not-so-young) fans and hear their Christmas wishes during the bazaar.

Santa had a busy day “down south,” as he next appeared in Georgiana’s Christmas parade. But before everyone’s favorite bearded gent could wave from atop their red fire truck, the spectators were treated to no less than five marching bands—Georgiana’s own musicians, along with bands from Central High and Calhoun High in Lowndes County, Hillcrest of Evergreen and Carver of Montgomery.

A number of area churches, organizations and businesses participated in the event with floats and decorated vehicles, including Virtuous Woman, Ivy Creek Clinic, Sonic of Greenville, Eastside Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church and Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church. Police and first responders from the city and across the county also turned out for the Georgiana festivities. While the event was half an hour late getting underway, the many parade goers lined up along Palmer Avenue in downtown Georgiana seemed to enjoy the holiday music, pageantry—and,  as always, plentiful candy.