Annual Christmas parade features live Nativity scenes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 19, 2002

GLOSTER &045; A small town Christmas parade delivered an important message Saturday, as costumed kids on floats created live Nativity scenes to celebrate &uot;the reason for the season.&uot;

A crowd of about 1,000 lined East Railroad Avenue and Main Street under brilliant blue skies to enjoy the procession, which also included antique cars, marching bands, a cavalcade of horseriders and Santa Claus, waving to delighted youngsters from atop a shiny red fire truck.

The Gloster Junior Police &045; an educational and guidance program for area school children &045; was awarded top honors among floats for their portrayal of Christ’s birth in a manger.

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&uot;Those kids were elated,&uot; said Jesse Miles, a Gloster policeman and advisor for the group. &uot;They worked on that float until midnight Friday and put the finishing touches on it Saturday morning.&uot;

JJaz Trucking Company’s float depicting huge gift boxes took second place, and the Amite School Center pep band &045; featuring students playing Christmas songs and dressed as angels and shepherds &045; won third.

Floats from the Gloster United Methodist Church and the New Hope Church received honorable mentions.

&uot;I think it went well. We had a good crowd and a nice-sized parade,&uot; said Gloster Mayor Bill Adams, who led the march through town along with his granddaughter, Kaylin, each throwing candy to onlookers along the way.

Amite County Sheriff Tim Perkins joined the ranks of prominent area personalities who have served as grand marshal of the parade, including former Miss Mississippi Kari Babski, former Ole Miss All-American Barney Poole and former NFL player Doug Williams.

The parade has been a yearly event during the past half-century.

&uot;We have pictures of the Gloster Christmas Parade from the 1950s, and it may date back even further,&uot; Adams said.