People lined both sides of North Perry Street in Medora on Saturday as floats, vehicles and walkers went by during the 44th annual Medora Christmas Festival Parade.
“People are showing up early and walking down the street for the booths,” said Nick Walden, vice president of the Medora Christmas Festival Committee. “By parade time, it’ll be packed.”
The day began with breakfast with Santa at the Medora Senior Center. The event was open to the public and was a fundraiser for the center.
Jackson Legg, 11, of Medora, spoke with Santa during the breakfast and asked where Mrs. Claus was. Santa assured him she would be around for the parade.
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Vendors and craft booths along West Main Street offered an assortment of items from antiques and toys to food.
Damian Root, 4, and Miley Howell, 8, were crowned Medora Christmas Festival prince and princess by Hailey Branaman, 6, who was present to pass on her crown.
Crowds started gathering along the intersection of Perry Street and Main Street nearly an hour before the parade began to listen to music from the Medora Pentecostal Church Praise Band and the Christian rock band, Driven, along with others.
Dana Nowland of Freetown was one of those waiting for the parade with her family. They visited the face-painting booth and got hot chocolate before heading to the parade route to wait.
“I have a 7-, 6- and 1-year-old; they like parades,” said Nowland.
The group was gathered for the parade but most were waiting patiently for one of the last floats, which featured Santa and Mrs. Claus on a sleigh.
Legg said he enjoyed the breakfast and festival but he was looking forward to the parade and seeing Santa again.
“I want to see Santa in the parade,” Legg said as he ate biscuits and gravy.
“The biggest focus today, I think, was making sure that the parade turned out alright,” said Walden.
The parade had over 50 entries registered.
“It takes everyone in town pitching in,” Walden said of the Christmas event. “Whatever they can, whether that’s time, manpower, money or supplies. I think it came together quite nicely.”
The Indiana Sons of the American Revolution State Color Guard led the parade carrying the country’s colors, followed by the Medora Cadet Corps. and more.
As the floats passed through the downtown, they were judged and trophies were awarded in a number of categories.
But the fun wasn’t over, even after the parade, as booths stayed open and the committee still had more activities planned.
Santa moved from the parade route to the Medora Library to share milk and cookies with the kids and pose for photos.
“We still have the house lighting contest, and we took over the Medora Christmas Ball,” said Walden.
The house lighting contest entries were judged earlier; however, Walden said he was waiting to make an official announcement and award each winner with their prizes.
First place won $50 and the festival committee plans to publish a photo of the house in The Tribune. Second place won a $25 gift card to Walmart and third took home a $15 gift card to Court Side Cafe.
The Christmas Ball was held Saturday night at the Medora Conservation Club.
“We just wanted to make it bigger, invite more people and we did,” said Walden.
Walden said he has “big plans” for the Medora Christmas Festival in the future, but he plans to keep them secret until next year.