Holiday spirit shines on Commerce Street

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On a clear and seasonably chilly Monday night in the Camellia City, more than 80 entries, from classic “pony” cars and marching musicians to beautiful girls and festive floats all aglow, journeyed down Commerce St. for the latest edition of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas parade and its theme, “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”

Throngs of parade-goers lined both sides of the street for the annual event, postponed from the previous Thursday night due to inclement weather.

As event emcees Kyle Haynes and David Norrell of Q-94 pointed out, the judges had some tough decisions to make with possibly one of the largest number of floats to appear in a single parade in recent years.

Ultimately, it was First Realty of Greenville (FROG) taking home the top prize for the business’s whimsical “The Froggy Night Before Christmas” float.

First and second runners-up in the float division were Ozark Materials and First United Methodist Church.

In the vehicle division, Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s festive entry was the big winner, with first and second runners-up being Evergreen Forest Products and First Presbyterian Church, respectively.

Kimmie Plant and Kimberly Matthews of the Butler County Humane Society said they had a blast participating for the first time in this year’s parade.

“We threw out about 100 stuffed animals and four big bags of candy along the route. It was so much fun,” said Matthews.

Prior to the parade, Santa took a seat in his sleigh in the glittering winter wonderland known as Confederate Park, visiting with many wide-eyed youngsters eager to tell Santa about their Christmas wish list.

“We were really thrilled with how everything went,” said Stephanie Steadham, executive assistant to Francine Wasden, director of the GACoC.

“The weather was perfect, we had a big turnout and everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves and feel the Christmas spirit. And that’s what it’s all about.”