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t was an afternoon full of laughter, and good-will in the city of Radford. Every year, the Kiwanis Club sponsors the Christmas Parade, which is held so dearly in the hearts of the locals. The theme for this year was, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Past themes included, “The Season of Giving,” in 2011, and, “Celebrate the Blessings of the Season,” in 2009. This event is very family oriented; several businesses, churches and civic groups can partake in the celebration of the Christmas season kick off. The route usually starts at the intersection of Tyler St. and East Main St., nearby University Drive, and proceeds down to western Radford Central Market.
At a quarter to 4 p.m., the crowd was getting really excited for the parade to begin, and the kids were shouting at the top of their lungs, “Merry Christmas!” The weather was kind and everyone could walk in their casual clothes, without putting on layers of wrapped up sweaters. A police sheriff said, “this is like a Christmas Parade in Southern California.”
The City Council took the lead followed by all the other departments and companies. Mayor Bruce Brown and other walkers gave away candy to the kids, which they gladly took, and added a sense of community for which the city of Radford is known for.
One thing that made the parade all the more vivid, was the Radford High School Marching Band. It was evident the boys and girls put time into their craft, playing the drums, tubas and saxophones with ease. Fyn McKinley, an RU high school student, stated, “I think the Radford Parade is a great event; I come every year.”
As the parade neared West Main St., the local groups took turns in wishing the children and parents well. Among them, was the newly opened Crumb and Get It, Radford Animal Hospital and Kazim Characters (with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Bugs Bunny sitting on a float). They were followed by farmers driving eye-opening tractors. A big, monster John Deere truck would not have been an uncommon sight.
Nearing the end, horse-back riders also made their appearance, displaying their cinnamon, and snowy colored horses along the streets of Radford. Standing out from the rest, one horse was dressed in a Santa outfit. Just like years’ past, Santa Claus appeared in a Fire Departments truck to close the parade with a warm, “Merry Christmas for everyone.”
The Radford Parade turned out to be a great get-together for family and friends. The community as a whole benefited from creating a bond, knowing they are there for each other. This is what Christmas is all about.