Many participants came adorned in their holiday attire and to share their Christmas spirit and bring tidings of joy to parade on-lookers.
Congratulations to the float contest winners: First place to Franklin Simpson Transportation Department Lady Bus Drivers, second place to Logan County Homemakers Club and Rita's Hair Impressions of Auburn taking third place. Thank you all for your Christmas spirit! The beauty and hard work that goes into a float is most appreciated.
No one seemed to mind the cold and windy weather and warmed up with hot chocolate and cookies, courtesy of Auburn Tourism Commission on the town square. Parade Grand Marshal Dodger Hollins was escorted in an old army jeep driven by Mr. Bert Knight of Russellville. The Auburn Middle School band marched and played Christmas carols and the Logan County ROTC led off the parade displaying the colors.
Fire trucks from several fire departments sounded their sirens and a huge monster truck brought out the joy to many that Auburn's Christmas Parade is known for. The faithful American Legion Post 258, escorted by Bob Wylie, were proudly displaying our nation's colors. There were a number of classic old cars, a motorcycle club on their Harley's, dogs dressed up in their Christmas best, public officials greeting everyone, and our old faithful Mr. and Mrs. Santa riding in Auburn's classic fire truck.
There were 56 horses and riders, some dressed in their holiday attire, and a wagon driven by Lucky the Bear. There were church floats displaying the reason for the season and sweet little children with gleam in their eyes as the parade passed them by. Every child should have left the parade with "sweets" for the holidays, as most participants threw out candy along the street.
“It's the most wonderful time of year,” said Jana Hanks of the Auburn Tourism Commission.
A highlight every year for Auburn's Christmas Parade is the large amount of Shriners that arrive in town to bring smiles to everyone. The Railroaders were on board in their caboose and the Shrine Trolley along with Shriners on bicycles and clowns juggling balls throughout the parade route. The Auburn Christmas Parade is sponsored by Auburn Tourism Commission, which consists of a small group of volunteers that all love Auburn and work hard to bring a Merry Christmas Parade to everyone.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is the philanthropy that Auburn Tourism Commission supports and monies are raised all year long to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in Lexington. This year, the entire wish list for the hospital was fulfilled and following a time of fellowship an official presentation to Macki Warren, Director of Volunteer Services for Shriners Hospitals for Children in Lexington, was made of the items that were purchased this year for the patients. Items included large screen flat panel televisions, Wii Systems, Wii Fits, Wii Games and Controllers. Also included in this year's annual giving were some 1,200 AA and AAA batteries for the hospital and fast food gift cards for the patients.
The aluminum can tab collection for Auburn was also packaged and loaded into the Shriner van that will be delivered to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, Burn Unit. This is the second year that Auburn has been involved in collecting aluminum can tabs and has already donated several hundred pounds of the tabs to support the Cincinnati hospital.
Macki Warren of Shriners Hospitals for Children made some very kind remarks regarding the small town of Auburn and she said “just like the little engine that could, Auburn is the town that does!”
“I think that is a very strong statement about our community,” said Jana Hanks of Auburn Tourism. “It amazes me year after year the support that the people in our community offer to support Shriners Hospitals for Children. Auburn is a very giving little town with big hearted people, it really makes me proud.”
This year's donations consisted of a total of $5,401.60, which was presented to the hospital, and then all gifts were loaded in the Shriners van to be delivered to Lexington.
The battery drive for Shriners Hospitals has also been a huge success. Auburn Tourism Commission began the battery drive for AA and AAA batteries for the hospital last year and to date has donated nearly 8,000 batteries to be used in games and electronics for the patients at the hospital.
"People want to give and help out and whether it be cash donations, batteries, toys, or aluminum can tabs, the community of Auburn is making a big difference for the Shriners Hospitals for Children", said Hanks.
Auburn Tourism Commission sponsors the Walk for Shriners Kids in October and the mone raised in the walk go along with the Christmas Parade donations and every single cent goes directly to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Another event was added this year to support Shriners and that is the Wendy's Spirit Night. Since July, Auburn Tourism Commission has participated in Wendy's Spirit Night one night a month at the Wendy's Restaurant on 68/80 in Bowling Green. From 5 to 8 p.m., when customers put their receipts in the container at the register, Wendy's donates 15 percent of those sales back to support Shriners Hospitals for Children. The first five months nearly $1,200 has been raised.
“This is another thing that has impressed me, as for the most part, it has been repeat customers from Auburn dining at Wendy's on the date set aside each month just to support Shriners Hospitals,” Hanks said. “It's all good, raising money for such a worthy cause and seeing the smiles it brings to the patients at the hospital is worth it all. Auburn Tourism Commission has donated well over $20,000 in the past few years to the Lexington hospital and been able to provide needed items for the patients there.”
“In closing, as we approach this blessed time of year, may the spirit of the holidays fill your hearts with joy, peace and a prosperous new year! On behalf of Auburn Tourism Commission, I personally want to thank each and every one that has had any part of supporting the Auburn Christmas Parades and Shriners Hospitals for Children this year and all the years before. May God Bless each giver and the community of Auburn,” Hanks said.
“And last but certainly not least, I want to thank Brigette Scott for bringing back to Auburn the Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree. I hope that this will be a tradition for Auburn to continue for many years to come. As with the Auburn Christmas Parade, this event will be sure to add memories to everyone like myself that loves where we live. Auburn is by far a great place to live, raise a family and a community where everyone comes together and hearts join for our little town that holds such special memories that mean so much to each of us.
“Remember, Auburn is known as “the little town that does.” I hope more people will get involved and keep these memories long lasting for years to come.
Merry Christmas Auburn and a Happy 2009 New Year to all!”