The Franklin Christmas Parade featured a record 102 entrants. -- FRANK A. DAVIS/TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

Record 5,000 attend Franklin parade

Published 11:02am Monday, December 10, 2012

FRANKLIN—A record 5,000 people converged on Franklin for Friday evening’s Christmas parade, which included a record 102 entries.

“I think all in all (things went well),” said Dan Howe, executive director for the Downtown Franklin Association. “The weather held out and we didn’t have any incidents that I’m aware of.”

Howe estimated there were more than 1,000 people in the parade.

“Woodrow Wilson (High School Band) had over 100 members and Lakeland (High School) had 86,” he said. “If you count the Bronco football team and cheerleaders on the 18-wheeler (and other entrants), there were over 1,000 in the parade.”

Sponsored by a community group with help from Downtown Franklin Association and the City of Franklin, the 1½-mile parade started at the Armory and headed down Gardener Street to Charles Street and Fourth Avenue before hitting Main Street and ending at Barrett’s Landing.

“It was a great community parade,” Howe said. “A lot of volunteer groups.”

This year was the second year in a row since 1968 that Franklin hosted a nighttime holiday parade.

“Friday night seems to be working when you have the lights,” Howe said. “And the downtown businesses did a really good job of decorating the city.”

The Best Overall Award went to the Franklin Shag Club. Other winners were

Best Lights— Powell & Sons Roofing first, Franklin Power & Light second

Best Theme— GYG Mental Health Agency first, Jack Jr.’s Towing second

Most Spirited—Southampton Fast-pitch first, Franklin Bronco football team second

Best Performance—First Baptist Church first, Franklin Mustang cheerleaders second

Marching Bands—Southampton High School first, Lakeland High School second, Woodrow Wilson third.

Downtown Franklin Association’s decorating contest winners were Old Virginia Molding in first followed by Franklin Art & Frameworks.

  • geographically challenged

    My child was in the parade. I watched it with family and friends by Drew Edwards office, then went the back way to get to the end and collect my child at Barrett’s Landing. I was very surprised to hear someone “announcing” the parade on that end. What was that about? Was this done privately by a business or from the parade officials? It was a nice idea, but do you think you could work it out for everyone if you are going to do it? Not everyone can hover in front of Fred’s.

    Suggest Removal

  • tiggerhomemom

    and what was up with a SoCo Public Schools float? That was just weird. Maybe they have more money then they’re letting on.

    Suggest Removal

  • sedge

    By the look of the parking lot,sidewalk and street, there was plenty of candy there (sucker sticks and candy wrappers everywhere) Also cigarette butts by the dozens. Just disgusting!! The city would look like a WWII coming home ticker tape parade in NYC if all the “floats” had candy.

    Suggest Removal

  • Ol Skinny

    Are you kidding me???? I thought it was a GREAT crowd! The people came out in droves… but SHAME on the organizers of the parade. I have never seen a parade that had so many people “just riding and waving”… What happened to throwing candy to the kids. I was so happy to see SO many kids there with their families, thats what it was all about… but float after float came by with nothing to throw? The Parade Chairperson needs to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Collect a small amount from each entrant and buy candy, or better, make entrants agree to have “throws” for the kids. It was a missed opportunity this year. I think we saw 2 maybe 3 groups “handing” candy out… Make this a BIG thing and do it right!
    The atmoshere, watching children dancing in the street with the DJ, seeing entire families together… it was wonderful. Just see what can been done next year for the little kids!
    Would have been a good time for a few merchants to have been open too? Maybe a street vendor selling hot chocolate?
    I love Franklin, always have… lets do better next year!

    Suggest Removal

    • employee2

      Parade rules discouraged/denied the distribution of candy.

      Suggest Removal

    • bustem

      Our group wanted to hand out candy, but were told we were not allowed to.

      Suggest Removal

  • momto2Js

    Liked it better during the day. Don’t like to get out or drive at night much anymore.

    Suggest Removal

  • spdrewry

    Who’s Dr. Belt?

    Suggest Removal

    • employee2

      I wonder too, could they possibly mean Dr. Belle of the school?

      Suggest Removal

    • bustem

      Dr. Belt is the eye doctor downtown. Good guy.

      Suggest Removal


    I wonder why Dr. Belt’s office didn’t win! They aren’t even MENTIONED! They do such an AMAZING job every year, and have such AWESOME people working there! Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Dr. Belt’s window display! Something just isn’t right about this. Dr. Belt’s office’s display is GREAT!

    Suggest Removal

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