Most of the annual Downtown Elizabethton Christmas parade took place under beautiful conditions for an early December evening, but toward the end of the parade, which is reserved for the Elizabethton High School Betsy Band and Santa Claus, a rainstorm struck.
Since downtown Elizabethton has a long series of concrete canopies that provide shelter under the sidewalks, most of the parade watchers simply stepped back from the curb, underneath the canopies. Some stuck It out under umbrellas in order to get a great look at the band and Santa. Others left a little earlier than they had planned, after seeing most of the parade in good weather.
Despite the change in the weather, Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce Director Tonya Stevens said she thought the parade went well.
“Most of the people stuck it out,” Stevens said. I heard a lot of compliments.”
One thing Stevens is pleased about is the statistics. She said there were more entries than in the past few years, topping out above 90 units. She said she asked applicants to estimate the number of people who would be participating in each unit.
“Using those numbers, that means we had more than 1,000 people in the parade,” she said.
There was no estimate on how many spectators lined East Elk Avenue along the parade route from Big John’s Closeouts to the Veterans Monument.
One of the factors that make the parade so large and popular is that all communities in Carter County seem to have its own representation. That includes four county high school with their own bands, most of the community volunteer fire departments, lots of churches and other organizations. It helps make the parade colorful and a true picture of the county.
It was a good reason to stick it out and see the rest of the parade even when the rain came.
The winners in the float competition were not available at press time.