MOUNT VERNON — Children and those who are kids at heart lined West Gambier and South Main streets Saturday to help usher in the Christmas season with the annual Christmas Parade with grand marshal John Ellis at the helm.
Ellis was accompanied by his wife, Iryna, and their granddaughters, Loren Elizabeth and Jordan Ellis, in a visa visa carriage driven by Ken Shira of Fredericktown.
Over 100 entries participated in the parade, with a few showing up because of Saturday’s exceptional weather.
Following the theme, “Characters of Christmas,” the best theme and animal entry was awarded to Sliva’s Miniature Horse Farm. Two miniature horses pulled a cart featuring characters from “The Nutcracker.”
Nailz 4 U & Hair Salon received two honors, taking best overall and business entry. The entry was a creation of a hair salon in Whoville, adapted from Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The lively and multicolored entry featured a mayor with flecks of silver in his hair and residents of Whoville getting makeovers for Christmas.
Additional award winners were:
•Walking Entry, The Children’s Connection, sponsored by Herald’s Appliances and Electronics and Duke’s Quick Lube.
•Animal Entry, Sliva’s Miniature Horse Farm, sponsored by Innovation Greenhouse (Kenyon).
•Business Entry, Nailz 4 U & Hair, sponsored by Mount Vernon-Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Modern Builders and Hunnicuts Jewelry.
•Humorous Entry, Chester Baptist Church, sponsored by Ohio Rental.
•Religious Entry, Covenant Church of God, sponsored by Ann Laudeman of Real Living.
•Senior Adult Entry, The Station Break, sponsored by Tim Horton’s.
•Youth Entry, Fredericktown Pack 350, sponsored by Kahrl & Co.
•Classic Auto Entry, Denzal Coppert, sponsored by Duke’s Quick Lube, Dumbaugh Insurance and Kevin, Kerra and Kingston Clinedinst.
•School Entry, Mount Vernon High School Marching Band, sponsored by Mount Vernon News.
•Horse-Drawn Entry, Patty Smith, sponsored by Page One Group.
•Equestrian Entry, Anvil’s Song & Kramer Ranch, sponsored by Mount Vernon News.
•Pony-Drawn Entry, Robertson Roost Ranch, sponsored by First-Knox National Bank.
•Antique Implement Entry, Wise Choice Propane, sponsored by Wolff House Wallpapers.
•Emergency Vehicle Entry, Mount Vernon Fire Department Honor Guard, sponsored by Knox Community Hospital and Dennis & Schisler.
•Organizational Entry, Knox Community Hospital, sponsored by Debbie and John Urton.
•Best Parade Theme Entry, Sliva’s Miniature Horse Farm, sponsored by First-Knox National Bank.
•Best Motorcycle Entry, Gold Wing Road Riders Association Chapter Y, sponsored by Mid-Ohio Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha Kawasaki, Flappers Bar & Grille and Page One Group.
•Dan Emmett Best Overall, Nailz 4 U & Hair, sponsored by First-Knox National Bank.
•No entries were received for the Humorous Entry/Walking category, sponsored by Virginia and Barbara Barry.
Paradegoers arrived in a giving spirit donating enough nonperishable food to fill seven grocery carts.
The parade is sponsored by the Heritage Centre Association and coordinated by the Mount Vernon News.
“I think it is one of our responsibilities to the community,” said News Publisher Kay Culbertson. “It’s a tradition we don’t want to see go by the wayside.”