By DENISE FEDOROW
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The Christmas spirit was out in full force Saturday night in Nappanee for the sixth annual Miracles at Main & Market Christmas parade and community celebration.
Christmas music filled the air as the Northwood High School choir led by Choir Director Jeff Cramer entertained the crowds waiting for the parade to start. On the opposite corner, members of the Northwood High School band played Christmas music.
There were multitudes of angels in the parade, along with Mary and Joseph and a donkey, Three Wise Men and a camel. Groups of children participated in the parade — either on floats like the Nappanee Public Library’s American Girls Club float — or on decorated bikes, trikes and wagons. Scouts and preschoolers marched along the route throwing candy out to the crowd.
New to the parade this year was Frosty the Snowman and Adam Apple all decked out in Christmas lights. Adam was accompanied by new Apple Festival Director Lora Beachy. The Llama Club’s llamas wreathed in holiday décor were returning favorites. And of course, closing out the parade was Jolly Old St. Nick waving from atop a Smoky Stovers Fire Truck and encouraging the crowd to join him in a count of three — “Ho Ho Ho!”
All generations were out enjoying the parade, including Elena, Grace and Kate Gramm and their grandparents Gigi and Scott Schafer. When asked what was the best part of the parade, Gigi said the live nativity and the girls loved the animals — particularly the reindeer. Four-year old Kate didn’t hesitate to say her favorite part was “Kenneth” — her friend who was riding on the Wakarusa Store float.
Goshen High School students Amanda Krueger and Andrea Rodriguez wee there with Andrea’s grandparents, Deb and Jerry Hostetler. The teens said their favorite part was “Santa and the reindeer” and Amanda added she liked the llamas, too.
After the parade, the crowd congregated at the Depot Plaza where Mayor Larry Thompson read the Christmas story from the Bible as the crowd lit candles and then sang “Silent Night” together.
The first Miracles at Main & Market event was held the first weekend in December of 2007, following the devastating October tornado and was held to celebrate the miracle that everyone survived.
Following the candle-lighting, the Younger Generation choir from Wakarusa Elementary School, led by Shawn Skaggs, sang some popular Christmas tunes, including a couple of numbers from their upcoming musical to be held Dec. 6 at Northwood High School — Nanny Claus” and “God Bless us Every One.”
Linda Thompson said that this year the Miracles at Main & Market committee decided to award winning parade entries. Winning in the commercial entry was Lake City Bank, in the walking category was the Llovable Llamas, The best float was awarded to Andy and Friends Gospel Team and the “Best of Parade” entry was given to All Seasons Tent and Party Rental.
Earlier in the day a Festival of Fun Jingle Elf event was held and four names were drawn to win $25 gift certificates. Those winners were: Ajessa Sidor, Juleinne Robinson, Blake Yoder and Joanna Robinson.
Linda Thompson thanked committee members and volunteers who served hot cider and cocoa and the Amish community who donated 125 dozen cookies.