By Tia Lynn Ivey
The annual Madison Holiday Parade marched through downtown last Saturday, drawing hundreds of people to the streets.
“This year’s parade was one of the best ever. I was really impressed with the number of decorated floats and the effort everyone put into making them look great. A big ‘Thank You’ to everyone that participated, volunteered, and attended the parade,” said Ann Huff, Main Street Director for the City of Madison.
“It was a great turnout, not only among parade participants, but from the public,” said Colleen Hall, special events coordinator for the City of Madison. “We were initially worried about the weather, but it turned out to be perfect.”
This year, the parade featured 35 floats and five grand marshals, all local veterans.
“We did things a little different from previous years,” noted Hall.
The theme of the parade was “I’ll Be Home for the Holidays,” to honor the service of men and women in uniform. Lieutenant General Steve Whitcomb, WWII Veteran Irene Wilson, Vietnam Veteran Gary Timberlake, WWII Veteran Bob Baker, and Air Force Veteran Dan Jubelt led the parade to show honor and solidarity with all our veterans, past and present.
“We really wanted to honor our current and retired veterans this year,” explained Hall. Hall was inspired by the Morgan County High School band’s recent trip to Hawaii, where they performed at a memorial event commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
“Our band performing in Hawaii to honor Pearl Harbor veterans really impacted them and inspired us to honor our veterans here,” said Hall.
As in previous year, three floats recognized, each winning in a different category.
Alliance Corrugated & Display won for the Most Creative Float. Amici’s won for Best in Show. Mannington Mills won for Best Theme.
“We had wonderful floats this year and it was hard to choose,” said Hall. “All in all, everyone had a great time.”