The town of Pikeville capped off a weekend of celebration Sunday, as hundreds gathered for the town's annual Christmas parade.
Pikeville's parade marked the fifth such event nearby in two days. Mount Olive, Fremont, Princeton and Goldsboro all held Christmas parades Saturday, beginning around 10 a.m. and running all through the day.
Where those parades took place under cloudy, rainy skies, the weather for Pikeville's event could hardly have been better. Clear skies and a warmer temperature made for perfect parade-going conditions, and the turnout was better for it.
The parade began just after 3 p.m., with people lining Main Street and Railroad Street on either side to see the procession pass by. Headed by members of local law enforcement and Pikeville-Pleasant Valley Fire Department, the parade began at St. Joseph's Church on the corner of Mill and Church streets. It rolled down Main Street, where local residents caught pieces of candy thrown from the tops of fire trucks and parade floats.
Among those watching the parade were Jonathan Sasser, 5, and his mother, Jessica. They stood in the shade along Main Street, with Jonathan jumping excitedly whenever candy came flying his way.
Asked what his favorite part of the parade was, Jonathan's answer was confident.
"I like when they throw Tootsie Rolls out here," he said with a snaggletoothed smile, before cutting the conversation short to play in the fake snow coming from the Wayne UNC Health Care float.
Jessica Sasser confirmed that Tootsie Rolls were, in fact, Jonathan's favorite candy, and he nearly jumped out of his shoes upon seeing the sizable handful of the treats his mother had collected while he played. For Jessica, the candy was not really the point.
"We've been coming out here for the last few years," she said. "For me, it's really the togetherness that I like."