Broadway parade goes on despite wet weather

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 07:14 PM

Despite wet and soggy conditions, spectators lined the Broadway sidewalks — huddled underneath blankets, mittens and hats — for the 17th annual Broadway Optimist Christmas Parade and Celebration.

Law enforcement officers, political dignitaries, beauty queens, preachers, clowns and motorcycle riders all made through way through Main Street at 2 p.m., some throwing candy and other goodies to the outstretched hands of the children.

Michael Young and J'lan Fleary waved to passing floats and sang Christmas carols on the sidewalk.

"I go every year," Young said. "I really like the fellowship, and I love the clowns and the go-karts."

This was Fleary's first year attending the parade, but said he also enjoyed the clowns and go-karts.

Seven-year-old Brooke Morrison, on the other hand, said she disliked clowns but enjoyed the rest of the parade.

"I liked it," she said. "My favorite part was the Sweet Frog van."

Brandy Morrison, Brooke's mom, said they always attend the parade because it's a hometown event. Her favorite part, she said, were the different firetrucks. 

Virginia Cameron and Mary Ann Howard have attended the parade for a number of years, both saying they enjoy the time spent with family.

It was Louise Carter's first year attending the parade and she said she enjoyed the bright lights, Santa Claus and music, despite the cold weather. Janiya McKinnon, 13, said she enjoyed the dancing clowns and eating the candy tossed out by the floats' passengers.

Pam Ridenhour, along with several members of her family, were huddled underneath a canopy tent with blankets.

"We love it," she said. "We are here for the children. They love the music and the crowd. You have to love parades to come in the rain."