Seven Springs Christmas Parade kicks off holiday season
By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 23, 2013 10:53 PM
Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus wave to the crowds at the annual Seven Springs Christmas Parade -- the first parade of the season for Wayne County.
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Santa and Mrs. Claus were perched high atop a Seven Springs fire truck with an elf hanging onto the back as they helped the county's oldest town kick off Wayne County's Christmas parade season.
Nearly 100 units, up from 61 last year, took part in the parade as crowds lined the streets Saturday afternoon despite skies that were dark and threatening.
Many of those lining the streets were children holding bags of all shapes and sizes to help gather the large amounts of candy thrown out by people on the floats.
"The turnout is way better than what we expected with the way the weather is," Mayor Allen Cash said. "We have quite a few more entries than we had last year. The last count I think was 95. That is not too bad for a town this size.
"Everybody has their candy bags and they are ready for us to start. We get more county down here during the parade than we do at Halloween."
Town Commissioner and parade organizer Ronda Hughes said the secret behind the increase in parade units was simple -- "hard work."
"Calling and asking," she said. "There are a few spots that are empty. I think they might have been worried about the weather. We have a good turnout so I am happy."
As people were waiting for the parade to start, Amanda Rouse and her father, James Rouse, were trying to finish decorating the ATV she would be riding in the parade.
Miss Rouse, 19, said she has been in the parade "many times."
"We are putting the finishing touches on it," she said. "I just think it is fun throwing out candy to the children and seeing everybody's faces when all of the floats go by and seeing the creativity on the floats."
Miss Rouse said that she and her mother, Jackie Rouse, had come up with the decorations and that it had only taken about 30 minutes to decorate the vehicle. Her box of candy was on the seat next to her.
Kevin and Kelly Sims of Goldsboro stood near the Neuse River bridge with sons Luke, 10, and Nate, 4. Their daughter, Micah, 8, rode a horse in the parade.
It was the first time the family, originally from Knoxville, Tenn., had been at the parade.
"We came out and didn't realize Seven Springs was the oldest town in Wayne County," Mrs. Sims said. "It was a neat small community function. It was neat. There was too much candy.
"It was just a great thing to come to with the family. No rain, and it is not too cold."
Like the other children, Luke and Nate had handfuls of candy.
Luke even said that his favorite part of the parade wasn't Santa, but seeing his sister ride in it.
It will be another two weeks before the parades pick back up with Yule marches in Mount Olive and Goldsboro on Dec. 7. But for those wanting another taste of the small town holidays, Seven Springs will once again be the place to be as the town will host its decorate-the-tree ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday at town hall on West Spring Street.
"Just come and fellowship," Ms. Hughes said. "If you want to, bring an ornament to put on the tree. If not, that is fine and just fellowship. We will have food, finger-type food. Just come.
"Santa Claus will be there for the kids."
Other Christmas-related activities this week will include the Goldsboro Downtown Lights Up from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. The annual lighting of the downtown Christmas tree and other decorations also will include trolley rides, hot cocoa and other refreshments, and plenty of entertainment.