Categorized | Community

Through a Child’s Eyes

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Woodstock Middle School Cheer

Among the hundreds of faces on Navy Road and Church Street Saturday afternoon, 4-year-old Elise Lopez’s smiles and eyes lighting up could tell the story of the 2012 Millington Christmas Parade.

The little girl watched the 58 participants march, ride, dance and toss candy to all the parade-goers. But Lopez’s happiest reaction came when bands like Mid-South Navy Band, Brighton High School, Millington Central High School and Millington Middle School came marching down the street playing Christmas tunes. With flag girls twirling and majorettes dancing, Lopez’s started bouncing and marching in place.

Lopez was surrounded by her peers, children slightly older and kids of all ages during the parade. Children could be seen rushing to grab candy tossed by the likes of Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback, Alderman-Elect Hank Hawkins and Frankie Dakin and Relay for Life’s Jimmy and Cathy Pike.

The Pikes were dressed as a teenage couple in the 1950s. There outfits were tailor made for the Millington Arts and Recreation Department’s theme of “Memories of Christmas Past.”

There were floats showing a living room on Christmas Day in the 1950s. Playhouse 51 participated in the theme celebrating there upcoming 10th years in operation. Characters from there past Christmas productions marched with signs identifing their year and show.

Lopez and the children even had a chance to see some furry entertainment in the parade. Residents like Robin McCoy came to parade with a pet friend like her dog Paris.

There were plenty of four-legged creatures to see in festive gear like show ponies, donkeys, horses and dogs for adoption with Millington Animal Safe Haven.

The diverse lineup provided by Millington Arts and Rec wasn’t just limited to people and animals. Diversity was on display with Native American dancing, Aztec cultural celebrations and Filipino attractions.

The Millington Christmas Parade features participants from Memphis like Wooddale High School and the Steeler Nation, a group dedicated to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

Closer to home organizations and groups like the Millington Crisis Center. The Crisis Center collected toys during the event and will be taking donations throughout the holiday season to provide gifts for area children in need.

Then it was time for the star of the show Santa to make his annual appearance on the Millington Fire Truck. With a few tosses of candy, Santa made his way through Millington quickly because he had to head up Highway 51 for the Munford Christmas Parade later that night.

As Santa was traveling to Munford, volunteers like Garry McCoy and Randall Brewer went to the streets with trash cans to clean up Navy Road and Millington Oaks. McCoy said he learned and inherited the job from Lingie Vann.

Vann, now retired after 7 years, said this is the unseen, important part of the parade every year. McCoy said every phase of the parade is a wonderful tradition from the cleaning to the children smiling like Lopez.

The winners for the 2012 Millington Christmas Parade are:

Best Float: No. 20 Lewis Family

Best Equestrian Unit: No. 55 Lazy Anchor Saddle Club and Ranch

Best Specialty Unit: No. 14 Rick Mills

First Place Overall: No. 20 Lewis Family

Second Place Overall: No. 23 Lighthouse Christian Academy

Third Place Overall: No. 55 Lazy Anchor Saddle Club and Ranch

Fourth Place Overall: No. 16 Fil-Am Millington

Fifth Place Overall: No. 12 Mount Vernon Baptist Church

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