CRESTVIEW — Crowds lined both sides of Main Street this evening to see the Christmas Parade (which was put together by the Main Street Crestview Association). The street was closed off and barricaded to make way for the numerous decorated floats.
Troop leader Lisa Tatro and girls from Girl Scout troop #637 were dressed up in the pajamas for a story time themed float. Each float had to be decorated to this year's theme of "Blessed are the Children."
"This is our second time (in the parade)," Tatro said. "This is our first time with a float and they are very excited about that." Each member of the troop even designed posters that were displayed on each side of the float.
"Each one made a poster of what they felt blessed children said," Tatro said.
Troop #637 was one of several scout troops that participated, which also included middle and high school marching bands, each of them performing Christmas music. Many local fire crews and police officers took part by showing off some of the vehicles they use.
Many Local businesses, churches and non-profit organizations showed their creativity with their floats. One example was AAA Waste Services in Crestview, who turned one of their service trucks into the "Island of Misfit Toys." Like in year's past, the best was saved for last when Santa made an appearance at the end of the parade.
"We just enjoy coming to this every year," David Phillips said, Phillips was attending with his wife Kathy. The long time residents said they have been attending the parade for the past 30 years.
"I used to help my grandchildren gather the candy," Phillips said. "This time we're just going to sit back.
Some of the residents that are new to the area were not quite sure what to expect.
"It was a great parade," Suzanne Palmater said. "I was surprised by the number of (marching) bands and how long it was." Palmater, who moved to the area two years ago, was also surprised by the turnout.
"I didn't think Crestview had that many people," Palmater said. She added that she plans on attending the parade again next year.
Sean Barthel and his wife and three children recently moved to the area from Alaska.
"Were not used to being spectators, we liked throwing candy" Barthel said. Barthel said he and his family would participate in parades in Alaska.
His son, Liam Barthel, 9, had a strategy to catch a lot of candy. Liam was wearing a large top hat that he had made recently as a class project at Bob Sikes Elementary. The top hat he made could also hold a lot of candy.
"I'm going to try and fill it, before I leave here," Liam Barthel said.