Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

December 3, 2012

Festive parade, lighting ceremony highlight weekend (with parade winners)

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The annual Festival of Lights Christmas parade through Corsicana was longer than anticipated but went well, according to organizer Dennis Thornberg.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” he said.

Winners of the “Community” prize was the Gilfillan’s Hardware float, which was an amalgamation of Christmas themes, from little kids under a Christmas tree as presents to a nativity scene. Building the float took at least three or four days, and one of the guys had to be pulled in from his vacation to help finish it at the end, said Darla Gilfillan.

“We would have loved to have put more time into but we were literally helping customers and then during a lull they’d run back and put ornaments on, and then they’d get a page and they’d run back inside,” she said. “It was kind of a crazy thing. It was definitely a group effort.”

The Vietnam Veterans group won best non-profit with their flag-bedecked gooseneck trailer with the camo bunting and deer decoy head with a flashing red nose, much of which had been ramrodded by Brett Malott. The crisis came just as the float approached the judge’s stand and the lights went out, said Ron Wright, president.

“I leaned over and said ‘y’all just presented you can see the lights,’” he recounted. “I guess it worked.”

The group threw out between 100 and 125 pounds of candy, Wright said. “It looked like a rainshower.”

Helping add some shine and polish to the parade were the members of the Scrapers and Shakers Car Club, and other vintage car enthusiasts.

“We enjoyed it,” said Suzy McGee, of the Shakers and Scrapers. “I really believe there were twice as many kids at that parade as I’ve ever seen. It was such a good turnout.”

Winners of the float competition were as follows:

Best Float, Retail: Blake’s Boats

Best Float, Religious: Lone Star Cowboy Church

Best Float, Educational: Candy Cane

Best Float, Non-Profit: Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 1009

Community: Gilfillan’s Hardware

Spirit of the Season: True Value Hardware

Most Creative: J Bar C Cowboy Church

Following the parade was the lighting of Community Park’s various decorations. That also went well, with all the decorations coming on as they should.

This year, the group intends to hold some fundraisers to get money to put towards new displays, Thornberg said.

“Some of these displays we’ve had for 20 years,” he said.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com