Pembroke’s 23rd Annual Christmas Parade and Festival drew thousands of on lookers and festival goers to the downtown area Saturday. With warm temperatures and clear skies festival officials kicked off the event with one of Pembroke largest parades ever.
The Shriners with their belly dancing, mini car cruising, pirate ship riding and more, as always, were a huge hit with the kids and adults alike. Many area churches entered floats, along with beauty queens, 24 tractors, youth groups, dignitaries, local businesses and many more groups; in all over 65 parade entries made their way down Hwy. 280.
The judges picked their top three favorite floats. Heritage Bank’s version of a Charlie Brown Christmas came in first place. Second place honors went to First Bank of Coastal Georgia’s "Fun and Frosty" Snow-women float and the Jr. ABATE of Georgia District Two youth motorcycle group placed third.
In the 4-H youth sponsored decorated bicycle contest the top three entries were Aaron Pope, Conner Meek, and Haley Williams.
"I really enjoyed seeing everyone out and having fun in Pembroke," said Parade Grand Marshal Johnnie Miller. "This was such a great experience for me and my family. I am truly honored." Riding in style on a black Mercedes, Miller was driven by Steven Ranger, with his daughter Candius Harris and grandson Bryson Harris.
Sixty-eight vendors covered the downtown area selling purses, Christmas decorations, jewelry, trinkets and more. A festival favorite was the fried candy bars and many lined up for the First Baptist Church’s sausage dogs. Live entertainment kept everyone tapping their feet and smiling along as local singers, dancers and marshal arts groups performed.
"Everything went fantastically," said Event Planner Barbara DuBose of the Bryan County Cooperative Extension. "We could not have asked for more."