Children bundled up in their warmest coats watched in amazement Sunday as marching bands, horses, floats and Santa Claus paraded through downtown Macon.
Teresa Ballard said attending Macon’s Christmas parade is a tradition for her family.
Ballard, her son and her grandchildren hunkered down underneath blankets about 2 p.m. on Cherry Street near the beginning of the parade route.
“It’s the coldest it’s ever been, I think,” she said.
Although the temperature was in the mid-30s, strong and gusty wind made the windchill feel much colder.
Snow flurries dusted the downtown area briefly as floats lined up for the parade.
Restaurants on Cherry Street were brimming with parade-goers snagging a hot beverage before the festivities began.
Teresa Smith, of Macon, stood by the street holding two cups of hot chocolate later as floats passed by.
“It helps,” she said.
Ashanti Smith, of Jones County, said she was outside for about 20 minutes before she went into nearby Dolce Vita Pizzeria and Cafe to get something warm to drink and noticed that the restaurant ran out of milk soon after she placed her order.
Despite the cold, Smith’s niece 5-year-old niece Kennady Smith said she was having fun. By halfway through she’d chosen a favorite parade entry -- the limousines carrying Alvin and the Chipmunks.
A little down the street, John and Stacy Walden, of Warner Robins, watched the parade with their 7-month old Chiweenies, Sophie and Sadie. Each Chihuahua and dachshund mixed dog wore Christmas themed attire, but spent a good bit of their time watching the parade from inside the Walden’s coats as their owners danced to Christmas carols played by the marching bands.
Micah and Trista Gordy, of Byron, covered their ears as police motorcycles whizzed by and officers in cars activated their sirens.
Micah, 7, waved to the floats, especially when Santa’s sleigh approached to the sound of Southwest High School’s marching band playing “Santa Claus is Coming to town.”
The Gordy children’s grandmother Sandra Cohes took advantage of a brief pause in the parade route to take Micah and 5-year-old Trista for a chat with Old Saint Nick.
Walking back to their spot near the sidewalk after the conversation, the children’s grins seemed to grow even bigger than they’d been while watching the parade.
“He said it’s cold like this at the North Pole, too,” Cohen said.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.