Parade marks yuletide spirit in Berryville
Posted: December 3, 2012
The Winchester Star
Berryville — Four-year-old Olivia Burkley was excited before the start of the annual Christmas parade in Berryville, but by the time it finished, she was positively bouncing.
Olivia and her mom, Erecka Gibson, were first-timers at the annual event, and they joined people who lined Main Street to watch floats, animals, characters and other sights go by.
As always, the parade ended with Santa Claus riding through on a firetruck, and Olivia beamed and waved as he passed.
“I am sure when we leave here I will hear all about it the rest of the day,” Gibson, 42, of Berryville, said with a smile.
The parade was nearly perfect this year, with 50 units moving at a smooth pace, a sunny 45-degree day, and people ready to embrace the Christmas spirit, announcer John Lyttle said. He estimated there were 900 to 1,000 spectators this year.
Lyttle got the festivities started by broadcasting Christmas music from a flatbed truck for two hours before the parade. It’s a tradition he has carried out for 25 years.
“I always like to watch the kids’ faces, especially when Santa Claus goes by, to see the glow in their eyes,” the Berryville resident said.
After the John H. Enders Volunteer Fire Company sounded its fire whistle at noon to start the parade, children were craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the first car, which took about 10 minutes to make it down Main Street.
“Come on guys, hurry up!” yelled one little girl when the parade didn’t move fast enough for her.
When it did arrive, it represented all things Clarke County. The Clarke County High School marching band played “Jingle Bells” as it came down the street.
Several 4-H clubs participated, walking, riding on horseback, or sitting on a trailer carrying the animals they tend. The Clarke County Animal Shelter walked through with dogs and puppies up for adoption.
Organizers chose several Snow Princesses, Snow Maidens and Snow Babies — with their parents — to ride in the parade.
Other sights included tooth fairies, Winnie the Pooh, the Grinch, and antique cars, firetrucks and tractors.
The parade is a tradition, and it’s part of being a Clarke County resident, said Bonni Broy, 61, of Boyce.
She and her husband, Bob, brought their grandchildren, Case, 5, and Cara Broy, 3, who have come to the parade every year since they were born.
“It brings the community together,” Broy said. “Plus, you are never too old to see Santa Claus.”
— Contact Laura McFarland at email@example.com