First place: First Baptist Church of Pembroke
Second place: Beulah Baptist Church
Third place: Bryan County Head Start
First place: Quality Towing and Recover
Second place: First Bank of Coastal Georgia
Third place: Pembroke Telephone Co.
The holiday spirit was strong Saturday in Pembroke as residents hit the streets downtown for the annual Christmas parade and holiday festival despite the cloudy skies and wet weather.
Shanna Davis, the parade organizer and coordinator for Bryan County 4-H, said the day was a success, with nearly 60 groups participating in the parade and most festival vendors staying open through most of the afternoon.
With Saturday’s forecast calling for clear skies, Davis said she was hoping for nicer weather but was happy with the day’s events.
“We’re pleased,” she said. “We would have loved for the weather to be better. We were surprised with the turnout.”
Davis estimated that around 1,500 people turned out for the day’s events, which included the parade and downtown festival. The live entertainment that was planned didn’t work out for fear of equipment getting wet, she said, but the vendors seemed to do well. One selling leather belts even sold out, she said.
“People were lined up all day around that booth,” Davis said.
As for the parade, she said only a couple of entries didn’t show. But those were replaced with a few that entered the morning of the parade. With 57 groups entered, she said this year’s participation in the parade was close to that of prior years.
“It was quick, but it was a good parade,” Davis said.
She offered apologies to Pembroke Police Chief Mark Crowe, who was supposed to lead the parade but got held up dealing with traffic somewhere along the parade route.
“Without him and his staff, we couldn’t make this parade possible,” Davis said. “He does so much work that goes unnoticed.”
She also offered thanks to Mike Foxworth, who returned after a year sabbatical to be the parade announcer.
“He is such a great addition to the parade,” Davis said. “He helped keep everyone’s minds off the weather. He just gets the crowd involved in the parade with his announcements. We were glad to have him back this year.”
The festival serves as a fundraiser for Bryan County 4-H, but the amount raised Saturday wasn’t available as of presstime. However, Davis said the club usually makes between $1,500 and $2,000 from booth fees, rather than charging admission.
“We do this as a family event,” Davis said. “It’s just something we do for the community.”