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Marching to a Holiday Tune

COAL GROVE — Claudette Allen parked her car near the old Melvin’s Service Center lot on Marion Pike and waited in the chill with an expectation of something really neat.

What brought her out on a cold December Friday night?

“Oh, the spirit of Christmas,” she exclaimed.

The Coal Grove native said she is proud of her community and proud of the parade that would, in a moment or two, be making its way from the village hall to Paul Porter Park a few blocks away and pass right in front of her car.

“I think the park is beautiful and I just go up there are look at it over and over. I bet I’ve made four trips since they turned the lights on. I always come to the parade. I’ve got a good heavy coat and a good seat. This is a great event.”

Across the street Alex Bundy, 10, Dookie Blair, 9, Caleb Cecil, 9, Alisa Bundy, 5, Riley Imel, 5 and Chase Blair, 5, waited with their folks for the start of the parade and a brush with the man who just might make their dreams come true this year:

“Santa,” one by one they all exclaimed. Caleb Cecil said in addition to the jolly fat man, he also likes “seeing people do funny stuff, doing flips and cool stuff.”

As the procession made its way along Marion Pike, those in the parade gave the kids one more reason to love a parade: candy. Nearly every participant tossed handfuls of dum dums, bubble gum, mints and Jolly Ranchers.

Jeffersonville Missionary Baptist Church’s entry centered on the reason for the season: It included a banner that read, “From Cradle to Cross” and one congregation member carried a large wooden cross. Others, including small children, were dressed in nativity costumes.

Last, but not least, came Santa riding in a snazzy red convertible, waving to the crowd.