Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 2, 2007

Christmas parade

VALDOSTA — The Greater Valdosta Community Parade officially carried in the Christmas season Saturday on some 183 floats and attractions. Ruby Riesinger and Lloyd Carter were the official commentators for the 2007 Christmas parade. The parade’s Grand Marshall was Moody Air Force Base’s Col. Kenneth Todorov 23rd Wing Commander.

The parade began with the presentation of the colors by the Moody Air Force Base National Honor Guard. The Valdosta Police Department Honor Guard strolled down Patterson street as well. Rep. Jack Kingston and state representatives Amy Carter and Ellis Black also participated in the parade. The Lowndes High School Georgia Bridgemen and the Valdosta High School Marching Cats provided the musical entertainment for the evening along with radio stations 92.7 Country, 99.5 Kix, and WGOV Magic 95 AM.

Various community youth groups such as Girl Scouts troops 174 and 124 and Cub and Boy Scouts group 454 added their youthful Christmas cheer to the parade. The Mildred Hunter Center Marching Pride, a mentoring program that teaches discipline, entertained the crowd with stepping and drill techniques. “It is getting better every year. It was a great opportunity to see the new things we have going on in Valdosta,” said Caitlyn Riesinger, 11, of Valdosta. Andi Hopkins, “It was really cool. This is my first year, and I really hope I can come back next year.”

Carter asked the crowd to remember veterans and show appreciation every day as Post 1777 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars graced the parade. Jenkins Academy of Self Defense, YMCA gymnasts and the Vipers gave a dramatic performance of skills. A host of cartoon characters strolled down Patterson to the surprise and enjoyment of the crowd’s younger participants. Among some of the other parade participants were the Unitarian Universalist Church, Valdosta Toyota Scion, Rimco, Georgia Power, the United States Air Force Raptor, Ameri Med Pharmacy and Equipment, All About Children Daycare and Outback Annual Toy Ride. The Azalea International Folkfair dance Competition performed a Chinese dragon dance.

The annual Christmas parade continues to grow and flourish each year.

“Even though I missed the karoke, the parade was better than last year. Last year was good too but there were more floats and great lemonade,” said Christian Riesinger.

“Thank you City of Valdosta. This really kicks off the season. We are really happy to have everyone come out; it really makes it feels like Christmas,” said Mayor John J. Fretti.

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