Annual Prescott parade ushers in Christmas season

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
With it “feeling a lot like Christmas” at a brisk but clear 35 degrees outside Monday night, the traditional Prescott-Nevada County Chamber Parade made its way into the downtown Courthouse square area, where the arrival of Santa Claus was anticipated by dozens of kids and parents.
In roughly a 10-minute motorcade, 23 floats and participants were decorated in Christmas lights with the expected festive holiday theme, while local beauty queens like Zoe Fincher, Heavenly Zachery, Claire Laughard, and Jamia Smith were bundled up for the cool weather.
But, cooler weather Monday night was a welcome reprieve from the rainy and cold weather that happened on Thursday, December 6, the parade’s originally scheduled night, and it was described as a “good night with good weather and great floats” by Nevada County Chamber Director Jamie Hillery, who had attended the Nevada County Quorum Court’s finance meeting just an hour before, and immediately started final preparations on the decorating the courthouse for Santa’s arrival.
As she was out front of the courthouse, just after the Quorum Court’s finance session, Hillery said “Good thing we moved it,” as she and assistant Angie Ballard were relocating some benches at the front door.
After the parade, Hillery had also introduced Santa Claus upon his arrival at the courthouse to greet the kids, and she introduced Christmas singers on the courthouse steps as part of the traditional “Christmas in Square” that always follows the parade. A familiar face, local award-winning singer Kendall Laughard braved the cold for the first singing performance.
In the lead up to the parade, the courthouse square area was already filling with people of all ages and seasonal Christmas music played throughout square.
As the parade arrived into the downtown area, that music was replaced by the sounds of the Prescott High School Curley Wolves Marching Band along with the familiar shrill of several sirens from police cars and fire trucks.
The floats and participants in the parade threw candy out into the crowd, while some participants were walking the route on foot, and greating individual crowd members on the streets.
Over the course of the event, the Nevada Auxiliary was on hand, with a set of tables serving hot chocolate and bags of cookies in the courthouse square. The courthouse itself was lit up with Christmas decorations including a large inflatable Santa and a Frosty the Snowman.
Participants in the 2018 parade included:
The Prescott High School Band, First Baptist Church of Prescott, Park Baptist Church, the Nevada County Fair Queens, Dancetastics with Angie Reeder, Prescott Automotive/Rotary, Patsy Laughard, World’s Teen Miss Arkansas Tourism 2019 Zoe Fincher, Prescott Housing Authority, Nevada County 4H Club, Ron & Cathy Brown as Elmo & Scooby Doo, Kindred at Home Health, Prescott Nevada County Chamber of Commerce/Santa Sleigh Float, Firestone Building Products, Boughton Baptist Church, Barkin’ Barn, Nevada County Fire Dept., Prescott Police Dept., Nevada County Ambulance Service, Ricky Reyenga and pets, Jack Faulkner Antique Tractor and Antique Car, the SugarTownRiders of Prescott.

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