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Jingle all the way

Santa Claus makes his way down South Third Street to the end of the Ironton Christmas Parade Monday evening in downtown Ironton. This year Mike Carey, owner of the Thunderbird, received the Appreciation Award for use of his car that has carried Santa since 1998.

Santa Claus makes his way down South Third Street to the end of the Ironton Christmas Parade Monday evening in downtown Ironton. This year Mike Carey, owner of the Thunderbird, received the Appreciation Award for use of his car that has carried Santa since 1998.

The temperature may have been an unseasonably warm 50 degrees, but still, standing in line waiting for this year’s Ironton Christmas Parade to start brought a chill.

So the students of Lisa Irish did what they knew best as they waited in the lineup on Railroad Street Monday evening.

“We’ve been doing some Zumba routines right now to stay warm,” Irish said.

This was the fourth year for Irish and the members of the Zumba classes she teaches at the South Point Community Center to appear in the Ironton Lions Club-sponsored parade. Participating were both the regular Zumba and Zumba Gold geared for senior citizens.

“This has a great sense of community,” Irish said. “And what Zumba represents is community. My classes get together to do this. Anybody can do Zumba.”

About a block down Railroad Street, Digit, the old English sheep dog, was stretched out on the street, knowing his cue to perform would come soon. His owner, Teresa Huddle, was there with fellow therapy dog volunteer, Kathy Jo Zornes, and Beck, a beagle-English setter mix.

The volunteers come to the parade each year to showcase the advantages of therapy dogs who go out into the community visiting schools, libraries and nursing homes.

This was the first year for the Carpenters Local 472 out of Ashland, Ky., to be in the parade, showing up in a special float union members made entirely out of oak.

“We wanted to show off our trade and the carpenters union,” Kevin Howard, president of the local, said. “A lot of people don’t realize on the Ironton-Russell Bridge, the biggest part is done by carpenters. We do a lot more.”

The 30-minute parade is the traditional start of the Christmas season for Ironton and brought out onlookers who stayed in their cars parked along the parade route or sat on blankets stretched out on the sidewalks.

Groups, like members of Christ Episcopal Church, gave out candy as the parade wound from Second Street to Third Street to the Rotary Fountain finishing up with the arrival of Santa Claus in a Ford Thunderbird.