Students and Montevallo residents gathered on Main Street on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. for the city’s annual holiday parade. The parade featured various organizations and sports teams from both the University as well as Montevallo High School.

Local churches, organizations and representatives manned the parade floats. Santa and Mrs. Claus threw candy to the crowd from a fire truck as the finale. “There was a lot of creativity,” said Montevallo Elementary School teacher Mary Sharman. “There were more lights this year than last year, and [there] was a lot of life. Just like you would see at a hometown parade.”

“It’s awesome,” said Santa Claus. “That parade has always brought the community together. Montevallo is the best small town I’ve ever been in to bring [everyone] together and enjoy everything.”

Many students and townspeople see this as a good way to come together as one community in Montevallo. The MHS marching band led the parade which included the University Women’s Cross Country Team. “It gives me a chance to see everyone smiling and coming together,” said UM student and parade volunteer Skylar Acton. “You can see that these people all know each other and want to spend time together and enjoy a fun afternoon.”

While the parade took place before Thanksgiving, most of the floats featured a Christmas theme. Most people in the community viewed this as a positive thing, citing the fact most students are gone for the holidays, as well as expressing how much easier it was to schedule.

“I think it needs to be early so all of the college students can be involved, too. So that everybody can get together before they go off,” said UM student Mary Parker.

The time is especially beneficial for Claus. “Do they understand how busy Santa and Mrs. Claus get during Christmas? Before Thanksgiving works out great for us, and we don’t want to miss it,” he said.