GOOD HOPE —
Young Good Hope native Wyatt Jones wasn’t bothered by the wet weather on Saturday, because he was going to attend his first-ever Christmas parade, rain or shine.
The nine-year-old’s plan was to watch his big brother on the Good Hope Middle School county champion football float, which was what he and his mother Donnette Jones said they were looking forward to the most.
“I liked catching the candy, but my favorite part was when the football players float came, my brother plays for the team,” Wyatt said. “It was the first time I’ve ever been to a parade, and I’ll come back next year.”
Good Hope hosted its second annual Christmas parade, as well as, its Christmas in the Park event on Saturday afternoon. The events saw well over 300 attendees even with the steady rain Saturday morning.
Event planner and Good Hope council member Jerry Bartlett said they dodged a bullet as the rain decided to come to a halt just before the 2 p.m. community-wide parade began.
“We’re so thankful the rain stopped and even more so that we had so much support from the community,” Bartlett said. “I think the turnout was great, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”
Bartlett said alongside the parade, the Christmas in the Park event featured music for the first time this year with locals Ally Knight and Jason Nix bringing their favorite Christmas tunes to the Good Hope park, as well as a large amount of free food was provided to those in attendance.
“We were excited to have the music this year and also we have 300 cooked hot-dogs and enough chili for 300 bowls to give out,” Bartlett said. “Everything was free for those who came because of our sponsors. I really want to thank Donna Scott, she works in Good Hope’s lunchroom and she got up early to cook all the chili for the event, if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. We are just so thankful for this community and the people in it.”
Many families lined the streets ready to catch a handful of candy from those riding in decorated floats, including the Parker family.
“I got a lot of candy, and some suckers; I like suckers the best,” Three-year-old Mallory Parker said. “I saw Santa. He waved at us. I like Santa because he’s nice and gives us presents.”
Mother Rebecca Parker said she and her family had a great time at the parade and her kids were thrilled with all the candy they caught in the process.
“The kids have had a great time,” Rebecca said. “My son who is about to be two, and Mallory have loved it all. My oldest child is in the Good Hope marching band, too, so it was a good day.”
Mayor Corey Harbison worked with Bartlett handing out chili bowls and canned drinks and agreed that the day was a success.
“We had a great turnout, especially considering the weather, we were thankful that the rain stopped just before everything else got started, and that it wasn’t that cold,” Harbison said. “We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about the parade so far. It was a messy, but good day. I think we had more people at last year’s parade, but this is a growing event and only our second year doing it so we plan to continue to grow in the attendance numbers in future years. We really appreciate everyone for coming out.”
Lauren Estes can be reached at email@example.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.