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Thousands show community support for annual Richmond Hill Christmas Parade

POSTED: December 2, 2017 1:05 p.m.
Photo by Mark Swendra/

Santa greeted the families who came out to the Richmond Hill Christmas Parade. Click on the photo slideshow link for 19 other pictures.

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John Dunivan has been bringing his family to the annual Richmond Hill Christmas Parade since moving here in 2005. He, and several others who lined the streets for this year's parade on Saturday morning, shared the same opinion as to what they like most about the event.

"It's community. That's Richmond Hill," Dunivan said, as his family joined thousands of others along Ford Avenue, taking advantage of unseasonably warm temperatures -- a little too warm for some.

"It's December ... and I'm fanning myself." he said.

Dunivan's two sons were in the parade, one with the YMCA, and another with the football squad.

Kelly Burcham, of Georgetown, brought her four children to the parade, and said she loves the small town feel. "I enjoy the camaraderie with friends," she said. "Everyone seems to know each other."

This year's parade theme was "A Storybook Christmas," starting near the primary and elementary schools, making its way west on Ford Avenue, before turning into J.F. Gregory Park, approximately two hours after it began.

The grand marshal was Bonnie Proctor, appearing in a red convertible at the beginning of the route. Proctor has been part of the planning committee for the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, since the beginning.

The 22nd annual parade featured high school marching bands from Bryan, Liberty and Chatham counties, churches, dance troupes, scout organizations and others, including all of the local dignitaries representing government and public safety. 

Boy Scouts Pack 486 won the Judge's Award for best entry. Richmond Hill Methodist Church won the Mayor's Choice Award. Dancing Unlimited was awarded the Crowd Pleaser honor.

Of course, no Christmas parade is complete without a visit from Santa Claus, who waved to spectators atop a Richmond Hill Fire Department engine truck, as the finale to the event.

Children couldn't get enough of the super heroes like Spiderman and Captain America, and battled each other on the curb for the best positioning to catch candy, thrown from the parade floats.

Tiffany Nutter, of Richmond Hill, brought her two young children, Jake and Reagan, to the parade, and she said the endless supply of candy that was tossed means additional toppings for their gingerbread house at home.

Christmas Parade category winners

Commercial Business Float:
1st - Coastal Electric
2nd - Toni Sauls
3rd - Randy Bocook Real Estate

Non-Profit Float:
1st - New Beginning Community Church
2nd - Richmond Hill Methodist Church
3rd - Fort McAllister State Park

Performing Groups:
1st - Dancing Unlimited
2nd - Life Moves
3rd - Richmond Hill Karate

Youth Groups:
1st - Boy Scouts Pack 486
2nd - Girl Scouts
3rd - Boy Scouts Pack 400

Marching Bands:
1st - Richmond Hill High School
2nd - Liberty High School

Judges Award -- Boy Scouts Pack 486

Mayor's Choice Award -- Richmond Hill Methodist Church

Crowd Pleaser -- Dancing Unlimited

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