Houston, Peach parades to step off Saturday

awoolen@macon.comNovember 28, 2012 

Whether it’s morning, afternoon or night, Saturday is the day for parades in Houston and Peach counties.

In fact, parades are being held in Centerville, Fort Valley, Warner Robins, Perry and Byron that day.

The 55th Warner Robins parade starts at 10 a.m., with country singer Colby Dee of Warner Robins as the grand marshal.

“The tradition continues,” said April Mouton Beal, director of communications for the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce.

With 130 organizations in its line-up, the parade is shaping up to be the largest in the two counties. The parade starts at the intersection of Houston Road and Watson Boulevard and travels down Watson Boulevard to City Hall.

Three high school bands as well as a Robins Air Force Base contingent of more than 100 airmen marching in formation will be headed down the road.

The next parade begins at 1 p.m. in Byron. With about 30 participants, the parade will start at Byron Middle School and wind its way down Ga. 49 and Ga. 42 until it ends on Main Street.

Organizer Tiffany Peavy said the Grinch is the grand marshal this year.

“The Grinch comes first, and then Santa comes in at the end,” she said.

Further south in Perry, the Houston County Jaycees are in their second year of sponsoring the parade, which starts at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mari, who is with the Jaycees, said there are 43 participants signed up this year, but the number of actual floats, trucks and walking groups could be much more.

Tony Mullis, a former Marine from Hawkinsville who is a double amputee due to wounds suffered by an explosion in Afghanistan, will be the grand marshal. He will be in his wheelchair, which is built to look like a tank, with a Hummer behind him showing the group he has formed called Amputee Outdoors, which helps wounded warriors.

The Perry parade starts at Kellwood Drive and continues on Courtney Hodges Boulevard to Main Street, where it ends near Forest Hill Drive.

Fort Valley will have its parade at 5 p.m. Featuring Santa Claus as its grand marshal, the small parade will host a party at Fort Valley Festival Park afterward, according to City Manager Martha McAfee. There will be a DJ playing holiday music as well as soloists and an opportunity for people to sing karaoke.

The parade will start at Blue Bird Corp. and travel down Ga. 49 turning left on Main Street, crossing the railroad tracks and heading right on Railroad Street, left on Preston where it ends at Fort Valley Festival Park.

Centerville’s parade will start at 7 p.m. and has 42 groups scheduled to appear.

The idea for a night parade came about after several years of police officers going through neighborhoods with a Santa float.

“It’s just something we thought would be different,” said City Clerk Krista Bedingfield.

For the first time in the three years Centerville has had its parade, the Northside High School band will perform, said Bedingfield.

The grand marshal for Centerville is WMAZ’s Frank Malloy and his son, singer Nick Malloy.

It will start at Houston Lake Road near Thompson Road and travel south to the Galleria Mall, where it will turn into the mall parking lot and travel around near Golden Corral and Buffalo Wild Wings and ending near the old Goody’s.

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