11/20/11 — A ho, ho ho-liday kickoff

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A ho, ho ho-liday kickoff

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 20, 2011 1:50 AM

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Members of the Spring Creek High School Band make their way down Main Street in Seven Springs on Saturday. The band's performance was one of the highlights of the Seven Springs Christmas parade, traditionally the first of the holiday season in Wayne County.

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Santa Claus brings up the rear, tossing candy to children who lined the streets.

SEVEN SPRINGS -- It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas Saturday afternoon as residents gathered on Main Street in Seven Springs, where nearly four dozen entries lined up under sunny skies for the annual Christmas parade.

The holiday season was officially ushered in by the county's oldest town, with the only snowflakes to be found on the matching red sweatshirts worn by sisters Catherine Eubanks, 7, and Samantha Eubanks, 4.

They were riding on the Zion United Methodist Church float with mom, Cathy Eubanks, and seated next to Sydney Johnson, 12, and Courtney Grace, 14.

"I like to throw candy," said Courtney.

And she was not alone.

Tossing out a Tootsie Roll, lollipop or other sweet treat has become a staple of such parades as the littlest members of the audience scamper to retrieve as many as possible.

Jodie Price and her cousin, Alissa Price, 8, brought large zip-lock bags to hold whatever candies they collected.

Jodie just celebrated her 7th birthday this week, said her mother, Jerri Lou Price.

"She was a preemie," Mrs. Price said. "I remember coming home from the hospital seven years ago with her. We parked in this same exact spot and watched the Christmas parade."

It's also a new tradition for Brady Pabst, 3, who rode on the back of his grandfather's tractor.

Bobby Mozingo, sergeant for a group of Civil War re-enactors, said he wouldn't miss the parade.

"It's my hometown," Mozingo said.

The group also included Jordan Houston from LaGrange, and Becky Fowler, Gail Lee and Jimmy Fowler, all from Atkinson, near Moores Creek National Battleground.

"Sometimes (Gail) and I are soldiers, sometimes we're Southern spies," said Mrs. Fowler, who was dressed in period costume.

"Today we're artillery," Fowler said.

In addition to marching and carrying flags, the group also fired a cannon at parade's end.

Among this year's entries were marching bands from Spring Creek and Southern Wayne high schools, elected officials, cheerleaders, farm tractors and antique cars, church and Scout groups and Seven Springs 4-H. The float from Seven Springs United Methodist Church, "the church on the hill," featured children in a live Nativity scene.

Heading up the rear were Santa Claus riding in a convertible and a stagecoach carrying the town clerk, followed by several horseback riders.