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'Tis the season: Christmas spirit alive & well in Jackson, region
Lights, elves and Christmas carols filled the streets of Jackson on Saturday afternoon in celebration of the 2012 Jackson Jaycee Foundation Christmas Parade.
The parade route began at Jackson Frozen Food and continued down High Street before turning down Main Street and coming to an end at Capaha Bank. It had nearly 70 entries.
"We're packed," said volunteer and organizer Beth Bollinger. "We've got tons of groups here and you just never know how big the entries are going to be."
Bollinger said the number of floats in this year's parade is about average. Featuring fire trucks, local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and three high school marching bands, Bollinger said the parade reflects the community's support and involvement.
With "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as the theme, volunteers judged the floats and honored three that best represented the theme with a Spirit Award. Among the honorees was the Jackson South Elementary Girl Scout troop 70003, with their "Twelve Days" float.
The troop's float played the theme-inspired songs and featured decorations representing each of the days. Members waved from their float as others walked nearby handing out candy to the crowd. Troop leader Tracy Akers said the effort behind the float came from community donations and help from parents.
"The girls were all really excited," Akers said. "Winning this was a really big deal for all of us."
The Jackson North Elementary Daisy Troop 70078 and the "Hens of '73" also were honored with Spirit Awards. Both groups rode on fire trucks decorated with the "Twelve Days" theme.
Floats decorated outside of the theme included Jackson High School's Family Career Community Leaders of America, with members dressed as the Grinch and wrapped Christmas presents, the North Elementary Daisy Troop's Polar Express and Jones Drug Store with walking elves.
Jackson native Sherri Dost says this is the first time in years that she has attended the Christmas parade.
"I came this year to bring my granddaughter," Dost said. "It was something I had always done years ago with my daughters."
Like many parade-goers, Dost said she loves the decorated fire trucks.
The parade also featured decorated tractors, more than a dozen classic cars and, of course, the much-anticipated Santa and his sleigh.