A grand celebration for the birth of the Christ Child

Published 12:55 pm Friday, December 3, 2021

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Christmas can come to us in subtle ways. Christmas can also come thundering in. On Thursday night, 12.2.21, Christmas was ushered in with a grand showing at the Americus Christmas Parade. There were marching bands, gorgeous floats, vehicles full of faces we have long adored, cheer and dance groups, churches, and even a Boston Marathon runner. As has been for decades, Americus lined the streets to welcome Christmas. Downtown windows sparkled, our trees and garlands were lit up, the blue lights of Americus Police Department patrol vehicles even joined in with brightening up the evening. Kelvin Pless brought personality as he served as our emcee, giving us the particulars on the joy passing by.

The showing is in honor of all that is beautiful about Christmas. No doubt the motivation to participate in the parade is out of joy over the message Christmas brings us. However, ever in Americus fashion, we like to let folks know how much they mean to us. On Thursday night, three judges, Nichole Buchanan, Julie Scott and Aimee Argo, all who love our home, were chosen to speak on behalf of our citizenry. No doubt their task was a large one. There was so much good to be found, each offering bringing us something special in its unique way. None the less, the judges had been given charge to bestow a special “Atta boy!” upon certain entries.

The first decisions were on the float category. Perry Wellness Center has always been an outstanding entry, and this year was no different as they communicated, “You got a friend in us” for all of Americus. Colorful, detailed, full of folks greeting the crowd, it was a favorite for both parade watchers as well as the judges. It is a very worthy choice for first place. Two other entries invited us into the celebration in a special manner worthy of winning ribbons. Performance Academy was our second-place winner, and Air Evac Lifeteam won third place.

As with any world class parade, we are hoping for a good choreographed marching unit. The Sumter County High School Band particularly pleased the judges, and they were deemed the best among a group of outstanding entries. What captured the spirit of our community the best? Who showed up excited for Americus as well as celebrating the season? The judges were especially impressed with Furlow Charter School’s showing and they are considered the best in community spirit.

Lastly, the judges were looking for an entry which captured the meaning of Christmas. This winner is challenged to be worthy of statements such as, “They really get what Christmas is all about!” This year’s conversation piece was “Jesus Is the Star of Christmas.” The entry was a float complete with sparkling lights, a live nativity scene and a Christmas greeting running the full length of the float, which read, “May the light of Jesus shine upon your heart this Christmas.” Cornerstone Church came through for Americus and all of Americus appreciates and joins in their Christmas prayer.  So, may it be.