Hundreds of Barry County citizens turned out for the annual Exeter and Cassville Christmas parades on Dec. 3.
Sunny skies warmed Main Street and drew crowds to Exeter for the Lions Club-sponsored parade on Saturday afternoon, and around 8,500 people braved the returning cold to attend the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored parade on Saturday evening.
Jim Matthew served as grand marshal of the Exeter Christmas parade. Matthew was chauffeured by Ian Russell in a new Ford Mustang, courtesy of Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury of Cassville.
Exeter parade winners included: oldest vehicle, Neil O'Donnell, first place; best decorated vehicles, Hilsden Moseley, first place, and Wheaton Street Machines, second place; most unusual vehicles, Kaitlin England, first place, and Bryce and Brayden England, second place; tractor, J. C. Arnold, first place; musical bands, Southwest Band, first place, and Wheaton Band, second place; non-musical performance units, Shelly's Showstoppers, first place, and Southwest cheerleaders, second place; religious floats, Victory Baptist Church, first place, and Exeter Baptist Church, second place; non-religious floats, Comfort Lodge #533, first place, and Mane to Tail, second place; best presentation horses, Jack Lowe, first place, and Back with Nature, second place; best of show horses, Ethan Caddell, first place, and David Bowman, second place; city's choice, Southwest Band; and Lions' Club travelling trophy, Seligman Lions Club.
The Exeter Christmas parade judges were Brenda Adkins, Krystal Adkins, Joan Bailey, Don Bailey, Rhonda Scott and Flo Ennis, who also served as parade chairman.
The 2005 Cassville parade committee members were Chairman Justin Gates, Matt Cooper, Dr. Dale Assing, Dennis Baker and Andrew Fisher.
Cassville parade winners included: religious floats, Corinth Baptist Church, first place, $150, Spiritual Streams, second place, $100; and Emmanuel Baptist Church, third place, $75; non-religious floats, Wheaton Masonic Lodge, first place, $150, Girls Scouts Troop #176, second place, $100, and Brownie Troop #333 and #335, third place, $75; commercial floats, Haney Construction, first place, and Eagle Rock Fire Department, second place; marching bands, Southwest High School, first place, and Wheaton High School, second place; vehicles, Northwest Arkansas Corvette Club, first place, and PT Cruisers of Barry County, second place; and best decorated horse drawn unit, Danielle Basey, first place, and Mane to Tail horse and pony club, second place.
The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce was also assisted by the Cassville Police Department, Barry County Sheriff's Department, City of Cassville administration and Jerry Watley, who hosted the Christmas parade line-up in the Able 2 parking lot on Highway 248.
Santa made appearances at each parade to distribute Christmas cheer and holiday treats.