12/07/08 — Christmas cheer

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Christmas cheer

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on December 7, 2008 2:00 AM

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Santa Claus waves to parade-goers Saturday in Mount Olive during the annual Christmas parade. To see photos from the five Christmas parades which took place Saturday in the greater Wayne County area, log onto the News-Argus Web-site Sunday afternoon.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas Saturday in Wayne County, as five cities and townships held their annual holiday parades.

A fleet of classic cars cruised Main Street at 1 p.m. in Fremont, including a canary yellow Camaro SS and a peacock-blue Mustang convertible carrying Grand Marshall Billy Harvey.

John Deere and McCormack were also well represented.

On top of one tall tractor was Karen Mooring's father, but her daughter, Madelyn Mooring, seemed even more excited when she got to wave at Snoopy on the Center Stage Theater float.

Mrs. Mooring's sister Brenda Sullivan came prepared with a plastic shopping bag to hold the candy that was thrown, Mardi Gras style, by float riders.

"We come out every year, we live right down the street," said Mrs. Sullivan.

They collected enough candy to last till Christmas, she said.

Many children in the crowd dived for the folded money Pennington Automobile riders flung from a white Saleen Mustang, only to discover the fake bills were candy holders.

Temperatures in the mid-40's and a late start to the 4:00 p.m. parade in Goldsboro did not dissuade resident Rita Smith and her family from attending the event.

"We've always done this," she said.

Mrs. Smith recalled one parade that stood out in her mind -- a winter night years before her children were born.  

"It snowed one night. It was probably in the 1960's," she said. "None of them are old enough to remember."

The last time Michael King and his wife Jaime King attended the parade, their daughter Madison King was only six months old.

This time, Madison, now 9, was accompanied by her brother Jaxson, 4.

"Do you want to see Santa?" King asked his son, who looked around.

"Where?" he said.

The Kings, who live in Princeton, made the effort to attend so they could enjoy the music.

"We came to listen to the bands," said King. "Goldsboro's my hometown, it's a favorite."

The seasonal weather chased off a few attendees before the end.

"My husband took my son back to the car, he was cold," said Laura Hitchner.

She most enjoyed the bands, but her son William, 11, had liked the loud, honking fire trucks the best, she said.  

Friends Olivia Garrett and Lenny Martin endured the falling temperatures to see the Goldsboro High School marching band perform.

"My son used to be in the band, so I still support them," said Ms. Garrett.  

The Marching Cougars band was among the last of the parade's more than 130 entries, but Ms. Garrett didn't seem to mind the chilly wait.

"It feels more like Christmas the colder it is," she said.

 Drill teams, motorcycle riders gunning their engines and even a giant mobile grocery cart, along with many more entries entertained the crowd through the anything but silent night.

Santa Claus and his helpers brought up the end of the parade in a one-horse open sleigh, and silver bells jingled all the way down Center Street in classic holiday style.