The Brevard Christmas Parade!

Site Manager Vincent Warren makes a good grinch ion the Illahee float for the Brevard Christmas parade!
Site Manager Vincent Warren makes a good grinch ion the Illahee float for the Brevard Christmas parade!

One of the joys of living in a small town is getting to know neighbors. Brevard, like many other rural areas, has suffered the loss of some long-time economic engines with the closing of the DuPont X-Ray film plant (when was the last time your DR. held film up for you to see?) and the Ecusta mill, which made Bible and cigarette! papers. In the recent economy, the second home market has suffered a loss of jobs, so there are certainly some residents who are struggling to make ends meet. The 10 or so local summer camps and tourism have become an ever more important contributor to our county’s economy and Brevard is  redefining itself as a tourist destination. With world-class rock-climbing, whitewater, fly fishing and gorgeous mountains, it’s not a hard task. This January, Bike Magazine will issue its gear “Bible” and Brevard is the backdrop!

The dichotomy that is Brevard is never more apparent than at Christmas time, when landed gentry and folks from the “hollers” all join along the parade route to see the spectacle that is the annual Christmas parade. Stretching from the high school to Brevard College, floats can include anyone with a convertible and a cute girl to sit on the back, to cheerleaders, marching bands, antique cars and tractors, and every emergency vehicle in the county. In a twist this year, the county paraded its brand new huge yellow school bus tow truck. I told our county manager that they should have hooked up any of the activity buses and put a sign in the window: “donations accepted”!

For the first time, and as the only camp in the parade, our Illahee crew under the direction of float director Kris, created an Illahee-ville float complete with a Grinch and two Max(es)…although Liza’s personality fits the role better than Newton’s. We were thrilled to complete our crew with August campers Bess  and Grace …up for the weekend in nearby Caesar’s Head…who were quite the pair of Whos (along with Ezra). Vincent made a very believable Grinch! I drove the John Deere tractor pulling the float and got many compliments on my head of Who hair. Big fun in the Heavenly…although not as fun as summer! Be sure and check out Caroline’s  day one video and day two video and then the finale here and on our Facebook page. It shows all the details of how to create a winning parade float!

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