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Cold can’t put freeze on fun at HS parade

Stephen Brooks photo/FULTON SUN photo: A Baton Twirler walks along with one of the floats in the Holts Summit Christmas Parade Saturday.

Stephen Brooks photo/FULTON SUN photo: A Baton Twirler walks along with one of the floats in the Holts Summit Christmas Parade Saturday.

— Saturday was a cold day here, and a festive one, too.

Early in the afternoon, cars and truck decorated with Christmas lights, and scenes from Santa’s workshop lined the shoulders of Center Street, their drivers rushing to make final adjustments or huddling inside to keep warm.

Then, at 2 p.m., the traffic on the exits leading off U.S. Highway 54 came to a stop and the floats and trailers rumbled forward, the town’s police chief leading the floats through the center of town, along with the Jefferson City High School Marching Jay band.

Near the head of the line stood Boy Scout Troop 9, the group based in Holts Summit. Seven boys in the troop marched in Saturday’s parade, some bearing American or Boy Scout flags.

Troop leader and Holts Summit resident Mike Watson said the group tries to attend many events in the town, like the Christmas parade, as a way of better connecting with other people and organizations. “I think it’s really important.”

Further down the line of cars and trucks with trailers, Darrell Mantle, of Wardsville, hurried to check the Christmas lights strung up around the windshield of his hybrid Ford Escape, called The Green Machine.

Mantle, who works at Central Bank in Holts Summit and drove in the parade with his wife and several of his co-workers from the branch, said the truck was so named because it symbolized the bank’s transition to more environmentally friendly business practices.

“The concept of the car was that because it was hybrid, we could show our effort to go green,” he said. “It’s becoming a more important topic.”

As the procession rolled north on Summit Street, children from nearby neighborhoods lined the streets to catch handfuls of candy being thrown from the floats and to catch a glimpse of all the different float designs as they rolled by.

Their parents stood by them, humming along with Christmas carols echoing from the floats. Some families stood gathered in the windows of their home, taking in the parade while still keeping warmer.

Some of the floats passing by were decorated with reindeer or antlers, others with candy canes and fake snow. One even had a replica of Santa’s workshop on a trailer towed behind a pickup.

On top of the trailer, in the midst of dozens of vintage antique toys, stood Holts Summit resident Carla Eikermann, dressed as elf shouting “Merry Christmas!” to the crowds as the trailer rolled along, advertising the Yellow Moon Antique Mall.

After the parade finished in Summit Plaza and the floats parked to take down the decorations, Eikermann said she had had fun wishing others a happy holiday, despite the chilly weather.

“It was a blast and it was really cold,” she said

Standing amid an assortment of toys like baseball gloves, a typewriter, a tricycle and several children’s books, Eikermann said some of the toys had come from the shop but that others were from other shops to include what all the children would’ve wanted for the holiday.

“You’d have to figure the elves would make those things, too,” she said with a smile.

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