Hundreds turn out for Winters' annual Christmas parade
If you didn't see a lot of people around most Runnels County towns on Saturday, it's probably because the folks were in Winters watching Winters' annual Christmas parade. The parade boasted almost 50 floats and other Christmas-decorated vehicles as the crowd of over 300 people cheered the participants on.
The parade coincided with Winters' Main Street Market Days, a monthly event organized by Angela New, owner of Gypsy Threads, Tees & More, and other business owners. There was no shortage of the Christmas Spirit in this thriving town of industrious merchants and citizens who have created a renewed economy while some other towns are foundering in the current economy. With 2 weeks to go before Christmas Day, many shoppers were looking for the myriad of unique gifts offered by the vendors and merchants.
Vendors and excited youngsters waved from along the parade route as others came out of merchants' shops to watch the festivity.
The Winters Chamber of Commerce and the City of Winters pulled out all of the stops as they brought a warm holiday spirit to this town of just over 2,000 people in West Central Texas. Organizers couldn't have planned for a better day as the cloudless sky welcomed 55-degree temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The mood was upbeat with families laughing and carrying on while watching the floats pass by.
The parade included a contingent of 6 young ladies riding white horses and carrying the national and state flags. The ladies and the flags were a stunning sight atop their white mounts under beautiful bluebird skies as they rode right down the center of Main Street.
There were floats by Winters' mainstays such as Heidenheimer's department store, North Runnels Hospital District, Winters Volunteer Fire Department, B&M Belew Farms, Z.I. Hale Gus Prusser Museum, and the Shriners, among others.
Many of the festive floats were topped with Winters Sno-Princess, Sno-Queen and Sno-Flurry candidates who waved and threw candy to the scores of people lining the street, many hoping for a glimpse of Old Saint Nick himself.
The parade started on N. Main Street up at Novice Road, traveling all the way through town before exiting on S. Main Street. It took about an hour from start to finish at a comfortable pace so that everyone got a chance to wave and smile at the folks on the floats. Even the Grinch was spotting riding a bicycle, and it looked like he might have had a smile on his face.
Santa made his appearance toward the end of the parade, riding high in his sleigh, surely checking off names on his Christmas lists as children waved and giggled.