Christmas parade kicks off -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Christmas parade kicks off

November 28, 2005

Thomasville, Georgia-- Christmas is coming early to Thomasville. The Rose City's annual Christmas parade marched through downtown on Monday.

Most of the day was spent getting soaked in downpours. Fortunately, Thomasville dried out enough that this year's Christmas parade went on as scheduled. After all, a little rain can't put a damper on the holidays.

"I have 45 different trailers like this with different props on them. We do about 30 Christmas parades a year. I'm the commercial float builder. I build floats year round. We're out of Juliette, Georgia," says Kip Dingler.

Dingler has been in the float business for 35 years. Thomasville's Christmas Parade tonight is one of dozens he puts on each year. "We're doing anywhere from thirty to forty floats per parade, sixty parades a year," says Dingler.

The YMCA has co-sponsored Thomasville's parade for 12 years, a show that requires almost three months of work. "We start in September, planning, getting the floats, getting entries, doing mail outs," says parade coordinator, Cindy Quigg.

There are more entries this year than ever before, 82 compared to 64 last year. "We go through, down Broad Street, turn on Smith Avenue, and end up in front of the health department," says Quigg.

The procession lasts about 45 minutes, put on to usher Christmas into the Rose City. "We want to put on a good show for Thomasville," says Quigg. "Thomasville, it's a nice parade," adds Dingler. The entrants think so! There are participants from every municipality in Thomas County.

The parade is the predecessor to Victorian Christmas, another big holiday event here in Thomasville. It's on Thursday and Friday of next week. There'll be plenty of entertainment, and local shops downtown will be open until about 10 o' clock at night, a rarity in the Rose City.

Victorian Christmas is known as Thomasville's merchants' gift to citizens. It was started in an effort to get more people to shop downtown.