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Big crowd braves cold for Brookhaven parade

More than a thousand people braved the chilly weather Thursdaynight to gather along downtown Brookhaven streets to watch asgaily-colored vehicles and floats went on parade to celebrate theChristmas season.

Santa Claus followed behind the parade wishing a “MerryChristmas” to all as his “elves” tossed candy to the children.

Well over a hundred parade participants kept smiles on the facesof spectators as the entries traveled the city streets.

“My favorite part was all the horses,” said five-year-old LoganHolmes. “I got a flag and a toy animal and they threw me somecandy. I got a lot of candy.”

“We enjoyed it (the parade),” said Logan’s mother, Karen. “Thekids really enjoyed it. There were a lot of kids there.”

Trisha Carlisle of Wesson agreed. “It was good,” she said.”There were a lot of floats and the kids really enjoyed it. I don’tknow the name of my favorite, but it had a bunch of kids and acamel. It was real cute.”

Carlisle said her family also enjoyed watching theCopiah-Lincoln Community College and high school bands. Schoolbands she remembered included Brookhaven High School, Loyd StarAttendance Center, and the high school bands of Franklin andLawrence Counties.

“(The parade) was great,” said Kelly Rand, who performed in theparade as part of Co-Lin’s Color Guard, a part of the band. “Theroute was a little long, but I’m not complaining.”

Carlisle was disappointed that she missed most of the dancinggroups, however.

“I wasn’t at a good vantage point to see a lot of the dancingbecause I was at the end of the route, but it was pretty good,” shesaid.

Parade entries were graded by judges concealed upstairs in theChamber offices and the winners of the 2003 Christmas Parade wereannounced Friday morning.

In the Religious Category, Mary’s Temple Church of God in Christwon honors as Most Beautiful.

The Lincoln County 4-H T-Bone Club won Most Beautiful in theGeneral Theme Category. Other award winners included Kelly’sRockets as Most Festive, Franklin County Teenage as Most Original,and Girl Scout Troop 864 captured Best Depiction of Theme.

In the School Theme Category, Thompson Learning Center was votedMost Beautiful, Brookhaven Gridiron captured Most Festive, and theBrookhaven School of Ballet was awarded Most Original.

Magnolia EPA won Most Beautiful in the Small Business Categorywith Lincoln Residential taking Most Festive, Cracker Barrel OldCountry Store Most Original, and J & T Stables won BestDepiction of Theme.

Grand Marshal Chad Simmons of Brookhaven, Miss MississippiAllison Kellogg of Madison, and Miss Merry Christmas LeWaire Harveyof Brookhaven signed autographs and spoke with spectators at theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce offices before theparade and waved to crowds during the parade. Harvey led theparade.

A young participant was injured during a stunt performed in theparade and was transported by ambulance to King’s Daughters MedicalCenter. She was still in the hospital Friday morning, but wasreportedly recovering well from the accident.