Holiday season kicks off

By DEMETRIUS THOMPSON,

The Newton County Christmas season officially kicked off this past weekend as Union, Decatur, East Central Community College and Hickory all held their annual Yuletide events.

The Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce and the GFWC-MFWC Decatur Woman’s Progressive Club started things off on Friday evening as they hosted the town’s annual Christmas parade. A big crowd packed the sidewalks of Broad Street to watch as dozens of floats and vehicles made their way along the parade route.

Before the parade, several winners were announced for the annual “Decatur Dollars” give away. The dollars can be used at several Chamber member businesses.

Winning the prize for first place float was the Beulah Hubbard Volunteer Fire Department. The La-Z-Boy float won second place and Noah’s Ark Café finished third. The grand marshals were Sid and Jackie Etie, and the chamber’s 2018 Citizen of the Year, Decatur Fire Chief Raymond Overstreet, was also featured in the parade.

After the parade, the crowd made the short trip to the ECCC campus for its Third Annual Warrior Wonderland. The event, which began with a fireworks display, featured ‘Selfies with Santa’ station, an inflatable slide, two laser tag areas and a gaming trailer provided by the Mississippi National Guard.

Hickory hosted its annual Christmas parade, featuring the Newton County High School Marching Band, on Saturday afternoon in the town square.

The fun continued on Saturday night with the Union Chamber of Commerce hosting the city’s annual Christmas parade. The crowd lined West Jackson Road, Bank Street and Main Street to watch dozens of floats, vehicles, the Pride of Union Marching Band and the ECCC Wall O’ Sound Band.

Reid Chapel Church of God took home the first-place float cash prize. The Milling Funeral Home float took home second place, and Greenland Baptist Church won third place. The grand marshal was Union Elementary School Principal Deanna Rush, and the parade also featured the chamber’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, Larry and Margaret Driskell.

After the parade, children took photos with Santa and the First Baptist Church of Union choir performed a medley of Christmas carols while reading the story of the birth of Christ.

The Union Chamber also gave out dozens of prizes throughout the event.