Ashe County celebrates 2016 Holiday Parade


Multiple churches used the 2016 Holiday Parade to share their testimony as they marched through the streets of West Jefferson on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

The 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade was capped off with an official ‘Light up the Town’ lighting ceremony.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With so many vehicles and onlookers clogging the sides of Jefferson Avenue, parade watchers sometimes had to get a little creative to catch the action at the West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A variety of floats, here with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, waved to onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

West Jefferson Holiday Parade marchers included these cute “dalmations” on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Members of the Ashe County Shrine Club, driving loud, fast moving carts up and down Jefferson Avenue, were crowd favorites at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A young parade rider in a Civil War-era Kepi Cap grins at onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Local Boy Scouts march in the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Ashe County High School Junior ROTC Cadets lead the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade along Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A powder blue Chevrolet parades through West Jefferson featuring an assortment of current and historical flags during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A local Girl Scout leader passes out candy to parade onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Costumed characters pass out candy at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Even the High Country Grizzlies, Boone’s soon-to-be new arena football team, had representatives in attendance at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Rep. Virginia Foxx waves to onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

“Reindeer antlers” were passed out to tiny onlookers along Jefferson Avenue in West Jefferson on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

The 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade featured a Christmas-themed train crawling along Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Dancers parade along Jefferson Avenue during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.


(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

WEST JEFFERSON-“Hey! Shhhh. Here they come!”

That was the shout of one excited youngster lining Jefferson Avenue in downtown West Jefferson Saturday afternoon as the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade got underway.

The annual display marks the traditional beginning of the holiday season in Ashe County, and dozens of excited kids bundled up against the cold on Nov. 19 were heard reminding their parents of that fact.

This year’s parade featured more than 80 separate floats showing off everything from Christian testimonies to pride in civic organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, to Santa Claus and local law enforcement, according to Parade Organizer and West Jefferson Lion’s Club Member Gwynita Steele.

“We’ve got a good mixture of everything this year, on par with what we’ve had in past years,” Steele said.

For some 90 minutes holiday marchers and floats paraded their way past a mob of onlookers seated along either side of the street. Not even high winds and temperatures that fell below freezing could slow the parade action. Onlookers simply bundled up, wrapped themselves in blankets and carried on.

Steele said the parade, in some form or fashion, has been organized in Ashe County for more than half a century.

“So much work goes into this,” Steele said. “The Lion’s Club gets started on the logistics every September and it kind of consumes you. It’s not hard – you just have to make sure everybody knows where to line up and when and answer everybody’s questions – but it can get overwhelming at times.”

At the conclusion of this year’s parade, town leaders flipped the proverbial switch and turned on the Christmas lights at storefronts throughout the town of West Jefferson.

Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.

Multiple churches used the 2016 Holiday Parade to share their testimony as they marched through the streets of West Jefferson on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5376.jpgMultiple churches used the 2016 Holiday Parade to share their testimony as they marched through the streets of West Jefferson on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

The 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade was capped off with an official ‘Light up the Town’ lighting ceremony.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5444.jpgThe 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade was capped off with an official ‘Light up the Town’ lighting ceremony. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With so many vehicles and onlookers clogging the sides of Jefferson Avenue, parade watchers sometimes had to get a little creative to catch the action at the West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5414.jpgWith so many vehicles and onlookers clogging the sides of Jefferson Avenue, parade watchers sometimes had to get a little creative to catch the action at the West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A variety of floats, here with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, waved to onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5360.jpgA variety of floats, here with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, waved to onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

West Jefferson Holiday Parade marchers included these cute “dalmations” on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5397.jpgWest Jefferson Holiday Parade marchers included these cute “dalmations” on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Members of the Ashe County Shrine Club, driving loud, fast moving carts up and down Jefferson Avenue, were crowd favorites at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5438.jpgMembers of the Ashe County Shrine Club, driving loud, fast moving carts up and down Jefferson Avenue, were crowd favorites at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A young parade rider in a Civil War-era Kepi Cap grins at onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5421.jpgA young parade rider in a Civil War-era Kepi Cap grins at onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Local Boy Scouts march in the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5355.jpgLocal Boy Scouts march in the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Ashe County High School Junior ROTC Cadets lead the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade along Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5323.jpgAshe County High School Junior ROTC Cadets lead the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade along Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A powder blue Chevrolet parades through West Jefferson featuring an assortment of current and historical flags during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5418.jpgA powder blue Chevrolet parades through West Jefferson featuring an assortment of current and historical flags during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

A local Girl Scout leader passes out candy to parade onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5342.jpgA local Girl Scout leader passes out candy to parade onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Costumed characters pass out candy at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5425.jpgCostumed characters pass out candy at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Even the High Country Grizzlies, Boone’s soon-to-be new arena football team, had representatives in attendance at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5412.jpgEven the High Country Grizzlies, Boone’s soon-to-be new arena football team, had representatives in attendance at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5408.jpgWith temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Rep. Virginia Foxx waves to onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5327.jpgRep. Virginia Foxx waves to onlookers during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

“Reindeer antlers” were passed out to tiny onlookers along Jefferson Avenue in West Jefferson on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5333.jpg“Reindeer antlers” were passed out to tiny onlookers along Jefferson Avenue in West Jefferson on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

The 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade featured a Christmas-themed train crawling along Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5371.jpgThe 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade featured a Christmas-themed train crawling along Jefferson Avenue on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5369.jpgWith temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5357.jpg(Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

With temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5314.jpgWith temperatures falling below freezing, coupled with high winds, marchers and onlookers at the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade stayed bundled up. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)

Dancers parade along Jefferson Avenue during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016.
http://jeffersonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_DSCN5337.jpgDancers parade along Jefferson Avenue during the 2016 West Jefferson Holiday Parade on Nov. 19, 2016. (Adam Orr|Jefferson Post)
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