Though the thermometer registered at 69 degrees, the scene greeting visitors to Hazard last Saturday, Nov. 25 said it was time to celebrate the holiday season with the annual Christmas parade.
For area residents, this has become a time-honored tradition for families and friends to get together, watch the parade, have their picture taken with Santa and top it all off with a relaxing carriage ride through Woodland Park.
This year's theme was "Christmas Cruisin' on Main," and the grand marshals for the parade were Faye and George Anderson of Hazard.
As local citizens put the final touches on their floats early Saturday, parade committee members were busy making sure all 85 entries were lined up correctly. Then at five p.m., onlookers heard the familiar sound of sirens from local fire department trucks and police cruisers leading the parade through Main Street.
Planning for the Christmas parade, with committee members Janet Smith, Tammi Gorman and a host of volunteers, got under way in early October.
For the past five years, this group has been working on getting more community involvement in the festivities by offering local crafters the opportunity to set up booths along the parade route and scheduling carriage rides in Woodland Park through a downtown tours company from Lexington, which returns to Hazard each year.
Area businesses have a Christmas open house and pictures with Santa are taken at Paul Gordon's Photo Center in downtown Hazard.
Prizes were given to the three best floats: Lothair Presbyterian Church won first place, Vicco Baptist Youth Group took second place and third place went to the "CHICKS," which stands for Citizens Helping Inspire Children Keep Soper. Best window display went to Crystal's Bridal and Formal Wear.
Several citizens of Hazard and Perry County said they look forward to seeing next year's Christmas parade.