Newnan Christmas parade spreads holiday cheer
by Bradley Hartsell
It’s December, so the cold was expected, but the rain was a bummer for Sunday’s Newnan Christmas parade.
Despite the less than optimal weather, however, plenty of people were lined around the Court Square to enjoy the parade.
More than 35 businesses and organizations participated in order to spread holiday cheer, led by the grand marshals — members of the Newnan police and fire departments, along with public safety supporter Norma Haynes. This year, the parade honored hometown heroes who serve the community every day. Newnan Police Department was represented by Detective Chad Wood, a 15-year employee, and Newnan Officer Brent McComas, 11 years.
Joining the grand marshals from Newnan Fire Department were Sergeant Johnny Minix and Sergeant Vic Kline. Minix has been with the fire department 36 years. Kline has been in the fire service since February 2000. Haynes, a long-time supporter of public safety workers in Coweta County, is endearingly known in the community as the “Mother of Public Safety.”
All three of Coweta’s high school marching bands participated, staggered in between several elaborate floats, which were all competing for a best-in-show contest. The winners were divided into categories and judged for first- and second-place. Taking honors were:
• Big business category — First, Lowes Home Improvement; Second, Gentiva Hospice.
• Small business — First, Strawn Brewing Company; Second, R. DuBose Jewelry.
• Non-profit / civic — First, Girl Scout Troop 13305; Second, Cub Scout Pack 50.
• Church / school — First, Born Again Ministries; Second, Arnall Middle School.
“All in first place get $150 cash prize and a chance to win people’s choice on Facebook this week,” said city Public Information Officer Gina Snider. “All winners received plaques.”
Santa came through, riding atop a City of Newnan fire engine.
Families, many holding the hands of their little ones, waved to the folks on each float with big smiles on their faces. Several times, someone in the crowd recognized a friend or loved one in the parade and said hello to them or joked with them. Others were there to see their child or friend march in one of the bands. Even on a rainy day, the community bonded together to experience a downtown tradition signaling the coming of the Christmas season.