Crowds turn out for Christmas parades

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Santa Claus visits Kerry Hayes Photos Santa Claus was an honored guest in the annual Cassville Christmas Parade last Saturday, greeting young and old alike from his lofty perch upon his sleigh. The Cassville United Methodist Church float, pictured below, took first place honors in religious float competition at the parade.

Cassville and Exeter hosted Christmas parades with well over 100 entries combined between the two popular events.

The night-time parade in Cassville attracted a line-up of over 100 individual floats, marching bands, horses and vintage vehicles.

Winners in the various parade divisions were as follows:

* Religious division: Cassville United Methodist Church, first place; and Exeter First Baptist Church, second place.

* Non-religious division: Cassville FFA, first place; and Barry County Museum, second place.

* Commercial division: St. John's Hospital-Cassville, first place; and Barry Electric, second place.

* Marching bands: Southwest, first place; and Purdy, second place.

* Horse division: Danielle Basye, first place.

* Special vehicle awards: Hog Country Corvette Club, best decorated; Daniel Pendergraft, oldest; and Ronald Patrick, most unusual.

This year's parade committee included Justin Gates, Mark Kelley, Dr. Dale Assing, Jim Gates, David Barnes and Cody Cantwell. Annette Henderson served as the chamber volunteer on the square, and several other community members served as parade judges.

"This was the largest parade that we have had for some time," said Gates.

Exeter also hosted a successful parade during the day on Saturday with Dr. Ernest Raney and Sheila Raney serving as grand marshals.

A large number of awards were handed out in the following parade divisions:

* Oldest vehicle: Ron Patrick, 1954 MG, first place; and Larry Averman, Model T, second place.

* Best decorated vehicle: Jimmy's Pre-owned, first place; and Butterfield Fire Department, second place;

* Most unusual vehicle: Hilston Mosley, John Deere Gator, first place; and BACA motorcycles, second place.

* School floats: Exeter Carnival King and Queen, first place.

* Religious floats: Bethlehem Freewill Baptist Church, first place; and First Baptist Church of Exeter, second place.

* Non-religious floats: Busy Bee Daycare, first place; and Barry Electric and Trail Blazers, second place tie.

* Horses - best presentation: Back with Nature, first place; and Mikel Thomas, second place.

* Horses - best of show: All Youth Rodeo, first place; and Gene Robbins, second place.

* Antique tractors: Donny Cooper, 1938 Alice Chalmers tractor, first place.

* Classic tractors: James Hargis, first place.

* Musical bands: Southwest, first place; and Cassville, second place.

* Non-musical bands: Southwest flag team, first place; and Southwest Middle School cheerleaders, second place.

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