Michigan family helping with hurricane clean up attends Albany parade

2018 Albany Christmas parade

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Andrew Chupp came to Albany to help clean up the damage from Hurricane Michael, but his trip landed him at his first Albany parade.

He was reluctant to talk on camera at first, but he says, the Southern charm in South Georgia made him change his mind.

“The kids are really excited about the candy. Me personally. I’m just excited to take it in," said Chupp.

The family drove many hours from Grand Rapids Michigan with his excavating company in October. He’s relieved to see that the damage from the hurricane was taken care of so quickly. The family is staying at Chehaw Park in RVs, so they decided to take a break and see what the Good Life City has to offer.

“[It’s] my first time coming to the parade because it’s my first time to the area so, [it’s] gonna be a new experience," said Chupp.

Another parade first is 4 year old A’Moni Johnson. Her mom says she’s cheering for the first time with the Bumble Bees, a Dougherty county Pre-K cheer squad. City leaders pushed the original parade date back two weeks because of bad weather and A’moni’s mom says she’s been waiting ever since.

“We were upset because we were so excited the first week that the parade was coming, but we understand the weather and everything,” said Vanessa Williams, A’moni’s mother.

A’Moni’s mom says she’s been bursting with excitement.

“She’s been trying on this uniform every day, saying 'When is the parade? When is the parade? so, now we’re finally here with the parade," Williams said.

Events like this can bring different people together to celebrate. The long distance from Michigan is not necessarily easy Chupp says, but the sweet treats make it worthwhile.

“It makes it worth it for me, especially for the people that you meet along the way. We’ve met a lot of really nice people," said Chupp. “It’s funny, we’ve done jobs for people that made us lunch and give you iced tea, and all that while you’re on the job,” added Chupp.

Andrew Chupp says he’ll be in Albany for another week, and then they’ll leave for Panama City.

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