Christmas Cheer and Community Spirit at Hopewell Parade
By Sarah Steele Wilson, Newsroom Editor
Dec 10, 2012, 12:40
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Del. Rosalyn Dance, Isabella Fratarcangelo and Chrisina Luman-Bailey waved and threw candy to city residents lining the streets on Sunday.
Children and adults alike kicked up their heels to the strains of the Hopewell High School Marching band and scrambled to pick up candy thrown from floats as the annual Jaycees sponsored Hopewell Christmas Parade made its way through the city streets, from the Community Center to Cavalier Square.
“It’s all about community spirit,” said the parade’s grand marshal, Mayor Christina Luman-Bailey.
Luman-Bailey was accompanied by her daughter, Julia Bailey, City Attorney David Fratarcangelo’s daughter, Isabella and Del. Rosalyn Dance, D-63.
Dance was celebrating her second year representing Hopewell in the General Assembly and enjoying her first holiday parade of the year.
“It’s Christmas,” Dance said. “It’s the season to be jolly, and everyone can give thanks for just being here. It’s a great day to celebrate.”
The procession of 48 floats included groups of classic cars and motorcycles, horses and riders adorned with fake antlers, bells and other festive ornaments, vignettes assembled by local churches, dance groups and the Hopewell High School Marching Band, which City Council member Brenda Pelham said was her favorite part of the parade.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson The Prince George Riding Club trotted down the streets on festively adorned horses.
“Music always brings the best out in me,” she said.
Although she loved the marching band, she said she hoped to see more musicians in the future.
“I pray we get a variety of bands in the future to expand it somewhat,” she said.
Jackie Julien, chair of the Jaycees parade committee, was watching the fruits of her labors after her first year organizing the event.
“It’s been a really great experience for me to do that, just being able to interact with the participants,” she said. “Just seeing the whole thing together, it’s been a lot of fun.”
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Men, Women, Children and dogs all enjoyed the Jaycees annual Christmas parade.
When asked if she had a favorite part of the parade, Tamia Jones, who was there with her mother Julie Jones, didn’t miss a beat.
“It was Santa Claus,” she said.
Tamia hadn’t asked Santa for anything yet, but said she wanted to put in a request for a puppy.
“All of it was good,” her mother said of the procession.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson The Hopewell High School marching band flew colorful flags at Sunday’s parade.
Elmer Johnson, who liked the cars and bikes and the Grinch, who appeared both atop a float and on a stretcher carried by the Hopewell EMS crew, said he tries to attend the parade every year.
“It got me in the spirit,” he said.
For Jenni Heller, attending the parade is a long-time family tradition.
“It was great,” she said, pushing her son Michael in a stroller. “We’ve done this every year since I was a little kid and now I get to bring my son, so it’s wonderful.”
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson This man slipped some extra candy in his pocket.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Residents and visitors lined the streets to watch the parade on Sunday afternoon.