12/05/04 — Parade day is a hit

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Parade day is a hit

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 5, 2004 2:05 AM

People all over Wayne County came out for the annual "parade day."

Each December, four Wayne area towns hold their processions on the same Saturday, making for a parade lover's smorgasbord.

Mount Olive's parade started the festivities at 10 a.m., then came Fremont and Princeton at 1 p.m.

They were followed at 4 p.m. by the Goldsboro parade. And if that wasn't enough, people could have gone to Cherry Hospital's parade, which was held Friday.

On Saturday afternoon, 9-year old Cierra Outlaw and her friend, Vickie Marshburn, 11, camped out early with fleece blankets on Center Street to watch the Goldsboro Christmas Parade.

The weather smiled on the parade Saturday, which was the Outlaw family's second in Wayne County. Their first one last year was at Mount Olive, said Cierra's mother, Brenda Outlaw. Cierra's dad, Chris, had to work the parade. He's a police officer.

Up the street from them 6-month old Billy Hudson sported a Santa suit while his parents, Emily and Larry, got ready to move to the other side of the street with him and his two brothers, Tulsa, 5, and Carter, 7. They had just heard that the parade doesn't come on their side of the street. They were crossing the street to get a better view.

The sun cast hard shadows across the entire width of the 100 block of Walnut Street, where the parade cut across Center Street to turn left at John Street and then take another left on Mulberry Street and return to Center Street.

Rebecca Teal of Goldsboro camped out at the corner of John Street with her video camera, ready to shoot footage of her 1-year-old granddaughter, Jamie Jackson, as she passed on the Logan's Restaurant truck.

Mrs. Teal came to town in 1962 with her father, Col. Homer "Pappy" Hayes, and her mother, Millie. Her father retired from the Air Force in 1973. They stayed, and Mrs. Teal, then Rebecca Hayes, graduated from Goldsboro High School.

Her parents still live in Goldsboro.

"It has changed so much since 1962," she said. "It's changed for the good. (But) I wish downtown was more like it used to be when I was growing up."

Michael Casey, one of the parade organizers, said it was the longest Christmas Parade Goldsboro has ever had. It had well over 150 entries, he said.

The float contest winners were First Free Will Baptist Church, first place; O'Berry Center, second place; and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, third place.

Although it was the longest, Casey said, it went the smoothest of any parade since he started organizing them nine years ago.

"It went well. The weather was beautiful, and we had a great turnout," he said. "I saw very few bare spots along the parade route."

He said one of the people who helped organize the parade was Katie Ferguson, who did it to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.

"She acted as one of our co-chairs, and she was in charge of several things," he said. "We started in mid-July. People started calling then wanting to be in the parade. She has been with us through the duration."

Mount Olive also reported the winners of the homemade float competition held during its Christmas parade. They were Beautancus Community Club, first place; IMPulse NC, second place; and J.O.Y. Riders Saddle Club, third place. The winner of the fire unit competition was Mar Mac Fire Department.