By: James HowellStaff Writerjhowell@heartlandpublications.com
November 14, 2012
The holiday parade will roll through West Jefferson on Nov. 17, displaying several local floats, groups, and the Christmas tree that will be on display at the White House.
“This is always an exciting event for the town,” said West Jefferson Police Chief Jeff Rose said
Before the parade begins, everyone participating will gather at Ingles and begin lining up. Then, officers plan to block off the Jefferson Avenue at the intersection near Ingles, said Rose.
According to Rose, traffic will still be able to move through town, but only through West Jefferson’s back street.
According to Rose, detour signs will be placed throughout the town in order to prevent confusion from the drivers.
The holiday parade is sponsored by Parker Tie Co. and will be coordinated by Pete Yates from the West Jefferson Lions Club.
“It’s too early to tell exactly how many people will be in the parade, but we’ll at least have as many participants as last year,” said Pete Yates.
According to Yates, there will be about 20-30 business and church floats in the parade.
Other participants in the parade will include the Ashe County High School Marching Band, the JROTC, pageant queens, and the Ashe County Rescue Squad, among others, said Yates.
“As always, prizes will be awarded in several categories including Best Commercial entry, Best Church or Religious entry, Best Children’s or Youth entry, and Best Community or Civic entry,” said Gwynita Steele from the West Jefferson Lions Club.
According to Cabot Hamilton, the executive director of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, the parade will also feature the Christmas tree from Peak Farms being sent to the White House over the holidays.
The tree will be cut down during a media-only event at 10 a.m. at Peak Farms before making its way to the parade.
Afterward, the tree will be transported by a N.C. Department of Agriculture vehicle, making its way to West Jefferson where it will be on display for all to see in the parade.
“The semi-truck is practically a moving billboard for Ashe County Christmas trees,” said Hamilton.
After the tree is paraded through town, it will visit the court house at 2 p.m. for the White House Christmas Tree Cutting and Celebration, said Steele.
According to Steele, Steve Troxler, the commissioner of agriculture from the N.C. Department of Agriculture, will be a special guest attending the event at the courthouse.
“The first 100 people will receive a holiday decoration made from greenery from Peak Farms and there will be cookies made by Ashe County 4-H after school students served along with hot cider. Everyone is invited to this event,” said Steele about the courthouse celebration.