Clanton Christmas parade winners announced

Published 10:54 am Monday, December 5, 2016

Logan Lutz and Natalie Swindoll enjoy the candy land on the Jefferson State Community College float. (Joyanna Love/ Advertiser)

Logan Lutz and Natalie Swindoll enjoy the candy land on the Jefferson State Community College float. (Joyanna Love/ Advertiser)

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON — Bright colors, lights and themes of Christmas took to the streets this weekend as a part of the annual Clanton Christmas Parade.

The time and effort put into the floats reaped a cash prize for Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton campus, the Mineral Springs Baptist Church Faith Riders and Mountain Springs Baptist Church for first, second and third place, respectively, in the float contest.

Jefferson State received $150. Faith Riders received $100 and Mountain Springs received $50.

Jefferson State created a whimsical candy land, complete with gingerbread house for its float.

“We were eating candies and had the idea to do Candy Land,” Heather Smith said. “It is amazing that we won. We are so excited.”

She said the team spent two days on the project.

This is the college’s third year to have a float in the parade. Smith said the school had placed second the first year it had participated.

Faith Riders put their own twist on Santa’s sleigh as motorcycles replaced reindeers. The lead motorcycle was elevated to look as if the sleigh might take off at any time.

Brian Paschel said the idea was the result of a group brainstorming session.

“We just wanted our ministry, which is the Faith Riders ministry to be known on the area,” Paschel said.

The group was formed about a year and a half ago.

“We are a Christian motorcycle … ministry that goes around using our bikes as tools to share the gospel of Christ,” Paschel said.

This was the group’s first year to participate in the parade.

For Mountain Springs Baptist Church, the win was meaningful. The float featured boxes representing problem and a lit backdrop declaring “God is bigger.”

“This past year has been a rough one for us. Everything on this float hits home with every one of us … that is pretty much what this float is based off of is saying no matter what you are going through that you have hope,” Kandice Cleckler said.

Other local organizations and businesses also participated.

Donna Fraser of LeCroy Career Tech Center said they wanted to feature the program on campus, and each was represented as a wrapped gift.

“We are a part of the community and we try to connect with businesses and civic organizations, so this was just an opportunity,” Fraser said.

Several students also participated in the parade.

“What is cool is every department on campus had a role in doing this,” Fraser said.

The float also featured a “T-shirt cannon” used to throw free T-shirts to those in the crowd.

Old Macedonia Baptist Church featured a line to see Jesus “because he’s the perfect gift” to everyone, Willie Wilson said.

She said the youth of the church worked on the project while they were on Thanksgiving break.

This was the church’s third year to participate in the event.

Elsa, Santa, reindeer and local queens were also featured.