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Public Notices

April 20, 2014

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Bulls Gap's Christmas Parade Features Santa And His Helpers

Sun Photo by Tom Yancey

Some of the onlookers were as festive as the floats at Sunday's Bulls Gap Christmas Parade. This unidentified little girl added matching antlers to her hood. The Cherokee High School Marching Band, shown here, led the parade.

Originally published:
Last modified: 2009-08-03 17:05:06

BULLS GAP - The Bulls Gap Christmas Parade had everything it needed to get the spirit of the season going - a hint of snow, a marching band, Santa Claus and a host of his helpers.

Oh, and candy. Lots of candy and bubble gum, tossed from floats and firetrucks and wagons pulled by horses and pickup trucks and even two goats.

The candy brought smiles to the faces of the hundreds of children and adults who lined the parade route, and the smiles noticeably helped ward off the chilly breezes.

The parade stopped traffic around the intersection of U.S. Highway 11E and state Route 66 , but the wait was less than half an hour.

The Cherokee High School Marching Band, 53 members strong, led the way, playing music of the season.

Betsy Shipley, parade chairman, said she had no count of the number of entries in the parade, and several, like a mini-car with a zebra-striped interior and a driver who looked like St. Nick, were obviously independents.

Several floats were sponsored by church youth groups, but the three winners were from other organizations.

The winning float was a large snowman, sponsored by S&S Millwright of Mohawk, Shipley said.

The second-place entry was sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service - a truck full of brightly-wrapped packages.

Third place went to the Tennessee Valley Authority, which had a large electric tower on its float.

That was fitting, since the grand marshal was Larry Elkins, general manager of Holston Electric Cooperative Inc.

The honorary grand marshal was Charles Day, a Bulls Gap citizen who was nominated by the Lions Club for his civic contributions, Shipley said.

Bulls Gap parade watchers over the years have noticed that Santa Claus bears a striking resemblance to Jim Walls, a longtime local resident and former town official. A brief interview with Santa after the parade, however, revealed that this is only a coincidence.

Santa and his candy-tossing helpers rode on a large firetruck, the first of a long line of such vehicles that followed. Local volunteer firemen seemed to be competing in two categories - horn and siren loudness, and volume of candy distributed - but winners were not announced.

Shipley said that, as parade chairman, she was glad that the several inches of snow that had been forecast for Saturday night and Sunday did not materialize. As a third-grade teacher at Bulls Gap School, however, she expressed mild disappointment at the lack of more snow.
For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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