SALEM – Winners of the Salem Christmas Parade were announced today for the Dec. 6 parade that kicked off in 70-degree shirt-sleeve and shorts weather.
First-place overall went to the Virginia Veterans Care Center for a glittery red-white-and blue shape of Virginia, with lighted Uncle Sam; second-place overall to Lego boys of Cub Scout Pack 51 which meets at First United Methodist Church; and third-place overall to the Salem Red Sox.
Sox mascot Mugsey proudly held aloft the Mills Cup trophy the baseball team has for the year, for winning the Carolina League Championship in September.
Carol Mattox, one of the leaders of Pack 51, came up with the Lego theme that carried through right to a Lego Christmas tree made of Lego-shaped boxes.
Individual bragging rights went to these organizations:
• Best Religious Entry: Christian Motorcycle Association Blue Ridge Christian Riders;
• Best Old-Fashioned Christmas: HopeTree Family Services for a scale model, with steam and sound, of the historic 611 steam train the Virginia Transportation Museum is working to restore;
• Best Organized Children’s Group: Bethel Baptist Church Preschool, and
• Best Band: Glenvar High School.
Judges chose Sun Medical for an honorable mention award.
A total of 75 entries made up this year’s parade. Although rain was forecast, the wet stuff held off until exactly 5 minutes after Santa Claus came through on Salem Fire & Emergency Medical Services’ Tower 1 truck to end the parade.
The more-than 1-hour-long parade – which is known as the biggest in Southwest Virginia – is sponsored by the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce, with members of the Kiwanis Club of Salem doing the lineup of parade entries to get the parade onto its route smoothly, and the Salem Police Department keeping order. For more photos, see this week’s Dec. 12 print issue of the Salem Times-Register.
– Meg Hibbert