The annual Whitehouse Christmas parade marched through town on a warm, sunny Saturday, Dec. 2. The 45 minute exhibition of cars, floats and marchers took place in front of a crowd that came prepared to watch the event. People brought blankets, chairs and food, choosing a spot early from which to view the parade themed “Rockin’ Christmas.”
The participants in the parade included the WHS marching band, cheerleaders and First Ladies, the Copperhead Row car club, Sharon Shrine Jeep Patrol, and numerous businesses, churches and organizations. A few politicians even took part in the event. Serving as grand marshal of the parade was Josh Tomlin, a WHS graduate who now pitches for the Cleveland Indians.
The Whitehouse Chamber of Commerce gave plaques to the three floats in the parade that best reflected the “Rockin’ Christmas” theme. Hospitality ER took first place honors with their Rockin’ Christmas float, Oak Brook Health Care was awarded second with their Rockin’ KISS float, and third place was given to Infinity Volleyball Club.
Christmas in the Park was held immediately following the parade. Children could not only have fun on the regular playground features and equipment, but could also play in bounce houses provided just for the occasion.
Over 30 vendors were stationed along the perimeter of the park selling their wares to those interested in completing some of their Christmas shopping. Local organizations tried to interest folks in upcoming events and community needs such as the REC’s current Project Joy, which provides food and Christmas gifts to needy families in Whitehouse, and upcoming 5K Jingle Bell run to benefit the youth programs provided at the REC.
The Whitehouse parade and Christmas in the Park have become a family tradition with many such as Robert Baldridge of Troup. He brought his young children to enjoy the day. His son, Robert Jr., had marched in the parade with Boy Scout Pack 359, but Baldridge stated his family comes every year. He also said his family will be participating in the Troup parade with Troup Fellowship Church.
Troup will host its own city parade beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 14.
Sandra Boucher, a Whitehouse resident employed at Whitehouse High School teaching pharmacy technology, was at the park with her older children.
“We’ve been coming every year since they were little babies,” Boucher said.
The park not only hosted citizens from Whitehouse, Troup and other neighboring communities, but also residents of Who-ville and the North Pole.
The Grinch was present and his heart certainly was no longer “two sizes too small,” as he willingly shook hands with those who wished to meet him and took pictures with children and families. Santa and Mrs. Clause were also present and available for picture taking.