WARNER ROBINS -- For many years, the annual Christmas parade in Warner Robins has mostly been a pain in Delmar Carter’s neck.
As a mail carrier in Warner Robins for 24 years, the parade kept him from finishing his Saturday route on time. But he retired recently, and finally got to actually see the parade for the first time.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying it,” he said. “I’m surprised it is as large as it is considering the size of Warner Robins.”
Carter served in the Air Force in Vietnam, and said his favorite thing about the parade was seeing the large number of Air Force Junior ROTC students. Hundreds of Junior ROTC students representing the different high schools in Houston County marched in dress blue uniforms.
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“I’m proud to see young kids interested in the military,” he said.
It wasn’t the first parade for Shameka Powers, of Warner Robins. She brings her three children every year. She has never served in the military, but she also cited the Junior ROTC students as her favorite part of the parade.
“I love to see kids organized and participating in something positive,” she said. She said her children, who range in age from 2 to 7, most enjoy seeing the Shriners wheeling around in tiny cars.
Overcast skies didn’t seem to have deterred the crowd. People who rode in the parade and have done so in the past said the crowd looked about normal. The timing turned out to be just right as a drizzling rain started shortly after the parade ended.
The grand marshal was local singer Jarod Cotton, who appeared on “American Idol.” He serenaded the crowd with Christmas songs.
In its 57th year, the parade is organized by the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce. The parade went down Watson Boulevard from Houston Road to City Hall.
It ended with a float carrying Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
It was the start of a full day of Christmas parades in the area. Byron, Fort Valley, Perry and Centerville also had parades Saturday. All were at different times so a true Christmas parade aficionado could have spent the whole day watching parades.