Annual Middle Georgia Christmas parades delight guests

chwright@macon.comDecember 1, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- “Mama, look...” “Oooh, it’s a...” “Look, look, look...”

The sing-song admirations of children become the soundtrack of parades throughout Middle Georgia this time of year, and the largest one Saturday gave them plenty of opportunity to repeat their favorite phrases.

The 55th Warner Robins Christmas Parade, hosted by the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, featured more than 120 organizations. Country singer Colby Dee, of Warner Robins, led the stream of decorative trucks and cars and marching groups along Watson Boulevard as this year’s grand marshal.

The parade happens every year, so there weren’t many who hadn’t already stood along the city’s busiest road.

Kathy Prater, of Warner Robins, said she has been to every parade since 1975 -- when she was 1 year old.

“Family tradition,” she said of the reason she attends every year.

Lifting the visor from a baby stroller, she added: “Now, it’s even more special, because we have this little guy.”

Brayden Prater, 1, slept peacefully at the parade’s starting point 10 minutes before it started. But Kathy was sure to wake him when the first float rolled.

After Dee came West Plumbing Inc., the Grand Marshal winning float. It was titled: “Eleven Pipers Piping,” featuring words and a waving dummy made of PVC pipe.

Then, came Mayor Chuck Shaheen, Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth and Perry councilmen on a classic Perry fire engine. Warner Robins Councilmen Mike Brashear and Paul Shealy followed in a classic car.

And though the children pointed and beamed at the councilmen’s ride, it was the automobiles the Al Sihah Klassic Autos showcased that kicked up the enthusiasm.

Warner Robins wasn’t the only city with children pulling at their parents’ shirt tails Saturday.

Byron held a parade at 1 p.m., with the Grinch as the grand marshal and Santa bringing up the rear. Perry held its parade at 4 p.m., with former Marine Tony Mullis as the grand marshal. Fort Valley held its parade at 5 p.m., with Santa Claus as grand marshal. And Centerville held its parade at 7 p.m., with WMAZ’s Frank Malloy and son Nick Malloy as grand marshals.

Kevin Davidson, of Perry, took his children to the Warner Robins parade and intended to attend the Perry parade later. He said the parades take the place of snow in the south.

“It’s Christmas season,” he said, as one child sang out a “did you see that?!”

Telegraph archives were used in this report.

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