The community turned out despite cold temperatures for the annual Jaycees Christmas Parade that began in Alcoa at New Midland Plaza and ended at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville.
Angie Brown, project coordinator with Maryville/Alcoa Jaycees, said the crowds and the participants enjoyed the event. Line-up was organized differently this year on Joule Street and Rankin Road. “It went great. I think it was smoother the way we did it,” she said. “They knew which side of the road they were to start on, and it helped the line-up a lot. It went really well, and we were really pleased.”
Brown said she is hoping the Jaycees can get more donations to purchase more stuffed animals to throw to children along the parade route as they do each year. “We ran out again this year,” she said. “We usually run out around Maryville City Hall building. Next year maybe we can collect enough donations to have enough stuffed animals for all the children.”
Brown said organizers are planning a banquet to honor parade participants. The group will recognize the first, second and third place finishers in eight categories: band, civic group, sports team, church, business, antique and odd entry and school/club. The date and time for the banquet will be released when details are finalized.
“We would like to thank New Midland Plaza, Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County governments and all the Jaycee volunteers,” said Brown.
Families lined the streets in Alcoa and Maryville along the parade route to watch the floats and other participants in the parade. “Every year, no matter how cold, whether it’s raining or snowing, no matter what, we come,” Nicosha Webb said. “It’s fun. I even had a headache this morning and didn’t want to come, and I’m glad I came.”
Her husband Scott Webb said their family always enjoys the parade. “I like to have fun with the kids,” he said of 12-year-old Tevin, 10-year-old Jonathan and 9-year-old Destiny.
Richard Clear came with his 7-year-old son Chase. “We always have fun,” he said. “He chases down the candy. His name is Chase, so it’s appropriate.”
This was Kevin Kilpatrick’s first year, and he brought wife Carolyn and children, Rachel, 6; Sam, 10; and Lucas, 11.
“My daughter Rachel is in the Girl Scouts and is on a float,” Kilpatrick said. “It’s been fun to see all the displays and all the people.”
Anna Keeble enjoyed the parade. “The John Titlow Band was my favorite part and the Wells Fargo stagecoach,” she said. “That was neat.”