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    Christmas Parade Marches Through Town

    Sophomore Katie Helm dances with “Gotta Dance” at PG Parade.

    The annual Prince George Christmas parade was held on Saturday, December 5th at 3 PM. The parade started at L. L. Beazley Elementary School and traveled along Courthouse Road to The Prince George County Regional Heritage Center, where the judges patiently awaited the arrival of each participating group.

    Various groups and clubs made the parade possible through their efforts. There are many factors attributing to the joyous atmosphere of the parade.

    “I liked being with my dance team and seeing all my friends wave at me from the sides,” sophomore Gotta Dance member Katie Helm said.

    Helm is part of a dance team that participates in the parade every year. This year was Helm’s fifth year in the parade.

    The parade was full of entertaining and lively participants, some who competed for float and club nominations. Many of them attend Prince George High School and are part of the parade as a team, club, or other organization. The parade is not only intended to entertain the onlookers, but the performers as well.

    Royalettes, including Rebecca Johnson, dance at the parade.
    Royalettes, including Rebecca Johnson (second row left) and Kayla Bailey (front row left) dance at the parade.

    “[I liked] being with my team and…getting in the Christmas spirit,” said sophomore Royalette dancer Rebecca Johnson.

    This is Johnson’s second year participating in the parade. The PG Parade included a plethora of school clubs and teams, including 4H, Marching Band, the Royalettes, Color Guard, Majorettes, and JROTC. It also contained many organizations not school-hosted which students participate in such as Gotta Dance and plenty of church floats.

    “I’ve been in [the parade] for elven years and [the marching band] for three years,” said School Marching Band/Majorette performer Melissa Harris.
    According to the Prince George Journal, the winners for the float categories are as follows:

    • Best decorated float: Oakland Baptist and Kid Co. community
    • Best decorated public service vehicle: Burrowsville Volunteer Fire Department Company 4
    • Most spirited/themed: Prince George Christian Preschool

      Dance Kraze float.
      Dance Kraze float.
    • Judges Choice: Prince George High School Marching Band and Royalettes
    • Best overall entry: Dance Kraze

    The winner of each category is determined by the judges.

    “It’s between three of us,” said parade judge Floyd M. Brown Senior. “If there’s a decision to be made two out of three [have to agree].”

    Brown also said that there were 55 floats participating in this year’s parade. Onlookers at the Regional Heritage Center waited patiently for the first float to come by, as Christmas music blared in the background.

    Finally from the end of the street a group of paraders could be seen marching towards them. It seemed like forever as the performers finally neared. They were followed immediately by Public Service vehicles, the most prominent being the firetrucks. Float after float and group after group passed. Many groups danced, waved, threw candy, or gave live martial art demonstrations.

    An entourage of old-fashioned fashioned cars drove through, followed by dancers, and then mobile nativity scenes on trailers. Miss PGHS also made an appearance. The parade is a tradition which has been held for years. Many of the participants are students who have been in the parade since a very early age.

    “[I have been in the parade] since I was a baby,” said sophomore Courtney A. Smith “…because my dad’s the chief of the Disputanta Fire Department.”

    Courtney Smith rides atop a firetruck with the JEJ Moore Cheerleaders.
    Courtney Smith rides atop a firetruck with the JEJ Moore Cheerleaders.

    Smith rode on the firetruck with the JEJ Moore Cheerleaders and waved at everyone. Some of the Prince George Paraders attended the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Helm danced at the Tree Lighting, and Harris sang carols with her girl scout troop.

    “I just like doing the parade,” said sophomore dancer Kayla Bailey. “It’s very festive, fun, and enjoyable.

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