With just over 90 entries, the 66th annual Holiday Parade, sponsored by Hedrick Medical Center, Chillicothe Hy-Vee and Midwest Gloves and Gear, was timed at one hour, 15 minutes Saturday morning (Nov. 17).
The parade was announced live from the courthouse location on Washington Street by Dave Rogers and Betty Preston Steele.
Saturday was filled with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the upper 50s. Crowds of people gathered all along the parade route.
"We could not have been more pleased with the way things went," said Lindy Chapman, executive director for the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce. "And, it was nice to have great weather for the entrants and those watching the parade."
Chillicothe High School football coach and community booster Phil Willard and his family led the parade as grand marshals. In addition to the local football accomplishments and activities, Willard has contributed to the Chillicothe and athletic community in many different ways during the 20-plus years he and his family have lived in Chillicothe. He was joined on the float with wife, Debbie, who is a kindergarten teacher at Dewey Elementary School, and their children, Andri, in eighth grade, and Jack, in seventh grade.
The theme for this year's parade was "Miracle on Washington Street." Parade entries were judged on use of theme, originality, and appearance.
The Grand Marshal's Trophy was awarded to Mrs. Missouri and the Missouri Princesses, who entered a colorful red and white heart-themed float. The float carried Mrs. Missouri 2012 Tina York, of Lee's Summit, along with princesses Micaella Miranda, Sarah Hall, Aliyah Briner, Emily Kasinger, and Madison Reed.
Float Division Youth — Grace Baptist Church took first place in the youth division, followed by Chillicothe Middle School's Antibullying Group, which took second place, and Cub Scout Pack No. 120, which took third place.
Float Division Business/Organization — Mrs. Missouri and the Missouri Princesses took first place in the business/organization division, followed by Comfort Inn, which took second place, and Ashbury Heights, which took third place.
Float Division Non-Profit Organization — Grand River Heart Restart took first place honors in the non-profit organization division, followed by the Chillicothe Area Arts Council, which took second place, and the Girl Scouts, which took third place.
BANDS — The Green City Marching Gold High School band took the first place trophy, followed by the Brookfield band, which took second place, and the Hamilton band, which took third place.
The entire Holiday Parade will be broadcast on Zito Media Cable Channel 6 at the following dates and times: Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m.
Mark Warren, owner of Sharp Focus Video, will also make DVDs available for sale to those who would like a copy. He may be reached at 646-4177
The Marching Falcons, of Kansas City, a popular entry of the parade for several years, were scheduled to participate in this year's parade, but were unable to make it because of unforeseen transportation issues.