'Peaceful' Townsend throws first class parade

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The annual Christmas Parade in Townsend provides a grand entrance for the holiday season on "the peaceful side" of the Smokies. Townspeople and tourists alike got a treat when Steve Phipps, president of the Blount County Humane Society, got things rolling as the Parade Marshall, with a great lead-off by the Heritage High School Marching Band and the Heritage High Air Force Junior ROTC.

Participation was great, with city employees, volunteers, fire and rescue, police, community groups and businesses all participating in the event.

The busiest man on the block was David O. Wietlisbach, a Townsend City Commissioner and chair of the Christmas parade.

The parade began at Little River Railroad Museum and included the season’s celebrity -- Santa -- in a horse-drawn carriage
provided by Willard Abbot.

State and Blount County officials included U.S. Congressman John Duncan, Blount County Highway Department Superintendent Bill Dunlap and Blount County Register of Deeds Penny Whaley.

Winners were:

Large Float

  • Tuckaleechee United Methodist Church -- 1st
  • Apple Valley Riding Stables -- 2nd
  • The Coada Family -- 3rd

Small Float

  • Robert Newman -- 1st
  • Blue Smoke Cabins -- 2nd
  • Larry Best -- 3rd

Riders

  • Sam Riden -- 1st
  • Tom Sims -- 2nd
  • Need More Ranch -- 3rd

Children’s Event

  • Kayla McDowell -- 1st

Darrell Watkins attended the event and took these pictures for Blount Today.

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