Gainesville Daily Register
More than 40 agencies had a hand in the proceedings of Gainesville’s annual Christmas parade, which rolled down California Street shortly after dark on Thursday.
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynette Pettigrew said this year’s participation level was hearty, with local businesses and institutions contributing vehicles, floats, horseback riders and dance and live music squads to the spread of holiday cheer.
“We even got a double-decker bus this year,” she said Thursday.
Pettigrew added that the choice to name the Gainesville High School football team to the parade’s “grand marshal” seat came weeks ago, even before their recent win in the playoffs.
“We made that choice before they finished as quarter-finalists, because we could see the season coming along well and we felt like it was a great ‘spirit’ thing for us as a community — and they pulled the community together by being involved with the winning season,” she said.
Thursday’s parade was “kicked off” by a special tree-lighting near the entrance of Cooke County Courthouse, with the tree’s lights turned on by Randy Hardin. And Pettigrew added that the chamber’s “Festival of Trees” continues into December, with residents welcome to decorate their own Christmas trees on behalf of a local business or agency and place them in the Cooke County Courthouse lobby.
“We have six so far,” Pettigrew said. “That’s fewer than last year, but we think that maybe with the heat we’re having, people haven’t quite gotten into the Christmas spirit yet. But the ones we’ve got are gorgeous and we’re thrilled that they’re participating.”
For more information about the Festival of Trees, call (940) 665-2831.
Thursday’s parade participants included floats and marchers from among the following: Gainesville Police Department; Gainesville High School Band; Gainesville High School cheerleaders; Gainesville Fire Department; Glenn Polk Autoplex; Gainesville Middle School Parent/Teacher Organization; local Cub Scouts and Daisy Scouts; the Historic South Gainesville Foundation; Gainesville ISD Electric Red Drill Team; Babe’s Chicken Dinner House; North Texas Children’s Dentistry; Down for the Crown; Jackie Franklin; North Texas Medical Center Auxiliary; Gainesville FFA; Oak Ridge Volunteer Fire Department; Luttrull-McNatt; St. Mary’s Catholic School; Abigail’s Arm’s women’s crisis center; ReMAX; Girl Scout Troop 8587; Relay for Life; Russell Massey; Pecan Tree Rehabilitation Center; Valley View FFA; Callisburg High School; Callisburg Volunteer Fire Department; Red River Redneck Riding Club; Bold Horsemanship; Fuzzy’s Taco Shop; AutoBody Concepts; Serena Evins; Christian Gathering; Red River Shooting Stars; KGAF; Boy Scouts; TCSC; Bryan’s Paint and Body; and Frank Buck Zoo.