Large crowd turns out for Christmas parade

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 30, 2007

There were dancing girls and beauty queens; there were stepteams and football teams; and after something was there foreveryone, Santa Claus came to town in all his Christmas glory.

Organizers say Brookhaven’s biggest parade in years went offwithout a hitch Thursday night, not only from a hometownperspective, but also in the opinions of visiting dignitaries.

Parade Chairwoman Rita Rich said even with all the parades she’sseen, Miss Mississippi Kimberly Morgan was impressed withBrookhaven’s holiday processional.

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“I was talking to her for a minute, and I asked her how it hadbeen, and she said, ‘You people know how to do it. I’ve been to alot of parades, but this is it,'” Rich said. “

I thought it was very nice of her to say that, because people inBrookhaven do try very hard to make things nice for people whovisit.”

Rich said in addition to more parade entries and floats than inyears past, the attendance was superb.

“I’ve been doing this close to 20 years and it was the largest,and though I didn’t get to see the whole parade route, I heardthere was a large attendance,” she said. “And always when you havea function you want people to attend, so that was fantastic. Therewere a lot of people in the parade as well.”

Some of the floats were larger than in past years, Richsaid.

In addition, the organizers of the route and the parade lineupkept things under control well during the process of putting themin order.

Rich also complimented the Brookhaven Police Department for itscrowd and traffic control.

“They had done a spectacular job and I was quite proud of allthat,” Rich said. “The Police Department did a great job, and thewonderful people who helped with the lineup, which is a very hardjob.”

The parade was spattered with live music, both from floats andmarching bands. Rich said she hopes in the future to have morebands to participate, but that she was excited about the ones thatplayed because they added so much to the parade.

“Music really helps with parade,” she said. “We try to geteverything in there as much as we can so it won’t be boring, and itmakes everything interesting to have the music and floats anddifferent items that people can see in the parade.”

Overall, Rich said, she was extremely pleased with the turnout,and was ready for a nap.

“I’m more than happy with how things turned out, and I’m tired,”she said, laughing. “Once again I do want to say thanks to everyonethat participated. Everyone was on time and in their properplace.”