Record 5,000 attend Franklin parade

Published 11:02 am Monday, December 10, 2012

The Franklin Christmas Parade featured a record 102 entrants. -- FRANK A. DAVIS/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—A record 5,000 people converged on Franklin for Friday evening’s Christmas parade, which included a record 102 entries.

“I think all in all (things went well),” said Dan Howe, executive director for the Downtown Franklin Association. “The weather held out and we didn’t have any incidents that I’m aware of.”

Howe estimated there were more than 1,000 people in the parade.

“Woodrow Wilson (High School Band) had over 100 members and Lakeland (High School) had 86,” he said. “If you count the Bronco football team and cheerleaders on the 18-wheeler (and other entrants), there were over 1,000 in the parade.”

Sponsored by a community group with help from Downtown Franklin Association and the City of Franklin, the 1½-mile parade started at the Armory and headed down Gardener Street to Charles Street and Fourth Avenue before hitting Main Street and ending at Barrett’s Landing.

“It was a great community parade,” Howe said. “A lot of volunteer groups.”

This year was the second year in a row since 1968 that Franklin hosted a nighttime holiday parade.

“Friday night seems to be working when you have the lights,” Howe said. “And the downtown businesses did a really good job of decorating the city.”

The Best Overall Award went to the Franklin Shag Club. Other winners were

Best Lights— Powell & Sons Roofing first, Franklin Power & Light second

Best Theme— GYG Mental Health Agency first, Jack Jr.’s Towing second

Most Spirited—Southampton Fast-pitch first, Franklin Bronco football team second

Best Performance—First Baptist Church first, Franklin Mustang cheerleaders second

Marching Bands—Southampton High School first, Lakeland High School second, Woodrow Wilson third.

Downtown Franklin Association’s decorating contest winners were Old Virginia Molding in first followed by Franklin Art & Frameworks.