The Fort Payne Christmas Parade was a huge success again this year. This was the first year since I have been director that it was not freezing or below.

In fact, one year it was 10 degrees when the parade started.

The Santa Dash is a great addition to the parade festivities. The run certainly fills the time space until the parade arrives downtown. Congratulations to Susan Smith for her efforts to create the run.

The lighted, real Christmas tree really added to the City’s Christmas in the Park. The civic clubs involvement included providing refreshments.

The winners of the floats for this year are the following: Chamber Choice, Primera Iglesias Bautista De Fort Payne; Mayor’s Choice, Heritage Wire Harness; People’s Choice, Playcore; and Best Overall, RTI.

The Chamber has the most dedicated board of directors. This special group provides the manpower to insure the parade is a success. They are responsible for the entries to enter the VFW fairgrounds in proper order and to create a smooth flow into the parade lineup.

Many people have questioned the length of the parade. The VFW fairgrounds provide a safe gathering place for the large number of floats and other entries.

Another wish by many is to have more high school bands. Many years ago before each town in the county had a parade, the bands did participate in the Fort Payne parade. The principals explained to me that the parade would be considered a field trip for the students.

The positive comments have been overwhelming about this year’s parade. I hope the parade has put you in the Christmas mood. I now encourage you to shop local. Remember dollars spent in Fort Payne improves your quality of life.

On behalf of the Fort Payne Chamber Board of Directors, I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Carol Beddingfield is director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. Her column appears in the Times-Journal on Wednesdays. You can email her through the chamber’s website at fortpaynechamber.com.

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