Townsend Christmas parade brings out crowd for holiday fun

The Townsend Christmas parade rolled through the town with floats, horses, Shriners’ mini cars and marching bands from both Heritage High School and Heritage Middle School.

The Dec. 2 event started at Nawger Knob before winding through town and past judges Alice Beers and Scott and Dorinda Stephens. The trio judged in four different categories and winners received cash prizes for their efforts.

Cherith Millar, daughter of Mike and Connie Clemmer and manager of the family’s store, Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop, said the event always has a “hometown” feel to it. “It’s always real fun,” Millar said. “We really enjoy it. Of course it’s a lot smaller than the Maryville/Alcoa parade, but it’s got a nice, homey feel. I’ve watched it, and been in it with mom and dad. It’s fun both ways.

Mary Newman, library director at the Mary E. Tippett Memorial Library, was parade secretary and helped organize the event. There were nine large floats, 26 small floats, seven contestants in the horse or pony and rider category and three entrants in the children’s event category, she said.

The marching bands from both Heritage High School and Heritage Middle School performed in the parade, many people brought four-wheelers or antique tractors to be in the parade. The Shriners were there in their mini-cars.

“The weather held for us,” said Newman. “It was beautiful. The parade got off on time, and we had a great time.”

Newman said the winners were:

n Large floats -- Blount County Humane Society, 1sts place; Outreach Church (with two floats), 2nd and 3rd.

n Small floats -- Liles Acres, 1st place; Jenna Huskey, 2nd place; Will McCampbell, 3rd place.

n Children’s event -- Gracie Burns, 1st place; Johnathan Wilson, 2nd place.

n Horse or pony and rider division -- Samuel Tipton, 1st place; Cassie Tipton, 2nd place; McKenzie Haggy, 3rd place.

Newman said there were monetary prizes for winner. In the large float division, first place won $100, second place $75 and third place $50. In the small float category, first place won $50, second place $35 and third place $15. In the children’s event category, first place won $35 and second place won $25. In the horse or pony with rider category, first place won $35, second place $25 and third place $15.

David Wietlisbach was the commissioner in charge of the event.

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