12/06/09 — Rain didn't stop these parades

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Rain didn't stop these parades

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on December 6, 2009 1:50 AM

Drizzling rain and cold weather Saturday didn't dampen the Christmas spirit in Wayne County as hundreds of people turned out for local holiday parades.

Fremont was one of two towns in the area that decided to proceed with its annual Christmas parade this weekend despite the less than perfect weather. Mount Olive also went ahead with its planned parade.

In downtown Fremont, colorful wrappers also rained from the sky as firefighters with the Belfast Volunteer Fire Department tossed handfuls of candy down into the crowd from their perches atop of the department's ladder truck.

Fremont resident Jerrica Artis took shelter under a red and white umbrella while her children, nieces and nephews scrambled to catch the goodies.

"We come out to support our town," Mrs. Artis said.

And the kids love the free candy, too, she added.

Many of the local fire departments, including the Rosewood Volunteer Fire Department, Pikeville-Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Nahunta Volunteer Fire Department, Antioch Fire Department and Fremont Volunteer Fire Department joined in for the parade.

The Wayne County Shrine Club and the Shriners mini-rigs also appeared, and local officials, community leaders and businesses were among the parade entries celebrating the season. Some parade-goers parked along the railroad tracks in downtown Fremont made use of their vantage point to stay warm and dry while they watch the parade roll by. The parade lasted about half an hour, shorter than last year's event.

The gray day may have caused some entries to pull out of the parade in Mount Olive, but when the Mount Olive Police Department's Dodge Charger rolled down Breazeale Avenue, a large crowd of people lined both sides of the road and stretched along the parade route into downtown.

Mount Olive College President Dr. Philip Kerstetter and his wife, Mary, served as the grand marshals for the parade, with special junior grand marshal Megan Quinn, 9, of Clayton, waving to the crowd from a special seat beside Santa Claus.

Sen. Don Davis and Rep. Efton Sager rode in the parade, along with the Mount Olive Town Board and town manager. The Wayne County commissioners rode in a sleigh-themed float, and the Mount Olive Hurricanes football team, clad in their jerseys, wave to the crowd.

Many local churches participated in the Christmas fun, including the Mount Olive Worship Center and Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness. Local businesses such as Andy's, Brock's Septic Tank, Oliver's Body Shop, Bill's Golf Carts and others also prepared floats or vehicles for the parade. The Mount Olive College Pickle Court, the Pickle Princess Court and Miss Seven Springs pageant winners charmed the crowd, and the Dudley, Pricetown, Mount Olive, Calypso, Indian Springs and Saulston fire departments were among the lights-and-sirens entries.

The Goldsboro Jaycees Christmas Parade was postponed because of the inclement weather and rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. Pikeville's parade is today at 4 p.m. Parkstown will hold its parade Thursday at 3:45 p.m. Faison will hold its parade Saturday, Dec. 12., at 5 p.m., and Eureka's parade will be held Sunday, Dec. 13, starting at 3 p.m.