BLADENSBURG — With a light rain falling prior to the start of the 2012 annual Bladensburg Christmas Parade on Sunday, participants were lining up at East Knox Elementary School ready for the annual festivities, rain or shine. But just before the clock struck 2 p.m., the rain showers subsided, and the parade went on under cloudy but dry skies.
Selected as grand marshals for the 42nd annual parade were Jim and Gwen Dugan. Admitting that she has missed only one parade since the inception, “It’s always been important to us. We’ve always been here,” said Gwen Dugan. “It is a real honor,” said Jim Dugan about being selected as grand marshal. Over their many years in the Bladensburg area, Jim has been involved on the Bladensburg Fire District board and as a township trustee. Gwen has been involved with as a deputy for Union Junior Grange.
The Bladensburg Fire Department was in charge of traffic control during the parade, and Trophies Unlimited provided trophies for the prize-winning entries.
Leading the start of the parade was Knox County Sheriff David Barber, who has had the privilege of leading the parade for 15 years. This was his last parade as he will retire at the end of December.
The parade made its way from the school east on New Guilford Road, moving north on McLarnan Road and wound east toward Market Street before heading back to the school. A total of 31 units comprised this year’s parade, which was judged by county commissioners Teresa Bemiller, Allen Stockberger and Roger Reed.
Parents, grandparents and friends were eager to see the youngsters marching with the various units or riding on the many floats. Meanwhile, the little ones who lined the parade route were ready to gobble up the offerings of free candy.
The annual Toys For Tots toy collection was being represented in the parade by the Mount Vernon Fire Department. Donations of toys are being accepted at the MVPD as well as the Bladensburg Fire department or other donation sites until Friday, Dec. 14.
Parade organizer Crystal Gallwitz presented trophies to the winners in the various parade categories. Trophy winners were Dustin and Lisa Baker, Best Fire Truck; Cub Scout Pack 344, Best Civic Group; Knox County Horse Park, Best Animal Entry; East Knox High School marching band, Best Walking Award; Marston Mowing, Most Original; R&J Hot Spot, Best Merchant; Scott McClure-1957 Chevy, Best Antique Car; Dick McKee-1951 John Deere, Best Antique Tractor; Bladensburg Church of Christ, Best Church; Rick and Annette Hannah-1930 Model A, Best of Show.
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