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- James Collins Ford
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The weather won’t be frightful, with a sunny, reasonably warm day predicted for Saturday, but that may make the Shelbyville Christmas parade even more delightful.
The event should get everyone in the holiday spirit, if they aren’t already, with a parade theme of “The Magic of Christmas.”
You can expect to see at least a dozen floats from all sectors of the community, from Girl Scout troops to civic groups to schools, churches and businesses, all decked out holiday finery.
The grand old elf himself will be there, of course, joined by this year’s grand marshal, Hoppy Bennett.
“I was very humbled they asked me, but I think I have enough strength of character to fight it. Bob Hope said that,” he said, with a chuckle.
The parade committee also invited Bennett’s brother, R.H. Bennett, to accompany him as grand marshals, but R.H. had a previous commitment and won’t be able to attend.
“I was very honored, because to me, it speaks of the pride they have in the [Shelbyville] horse show, and I am proud to represent that,” Bennett said.
Bobby Cowherd, fire chief of the Shelby County Fire Department, the entity that puts on the parade, said the Bennetts are very deserving of the honor.
“We always try to find someone who has given back to the community, and the Bennetts have done so much, especially with everything they do with the [Shelbyville] horse show,” he said. “Believe it or not, choosing a grand marshal is the easiest part of organizing the parade, because we have so many fine individuals in Shelby County who have done so much for the community.”
The parade will start at 10 a.m. at the Shelby County Fairgrounds and will move down Main Street to 3rd Street.
Prizes will be awarded to float winners and runners up, in categories of government, business and industry, churches and schools and civic groups, such as scouts.
Cowherd said he was also excited about the bands he has lined up for the parade, which will feature the Shelby County High School Marching Band, led by assistant band director Stephanie Mora.
“We are going to be doing a piece called Carol of the Bells, from our Christmas program,” Shelby County High School Band Director Dave Roslon said.
But also, for the first time this year, the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox will be participating in the parade.
Cowherd said that Curtis Moss, who lives in Shelbyville and plays the tuba in the band, asked him if the band could be included.
“We were really glad to have them. When he asked me if they could come, I said that would be just awesome,” Cowherd said.
Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Moss, who has been a Shelbyville resident since 2005, is also in his 11th year as music educator at Eminence Independence School.
He said the 100th Army Band travels around the country, mostly the southeastern portion of the United States, performing at various events.
“This past year we went to Hawaii,” Moss said, adding that his band is Fort Knox’s reserve band that fills in for the active-duty band when it is unavailable.
“We do a lot of military ceremonies, but we have not played in Shelbyville before,” he said. “We can’t wait. We are really looking forward to it.”
WHEN:10 a.m. Saturday
WHERE:On Main Street, between Ashland Avenue and 3rd Street
GRAND MARSHAL:Hoppy Bennett