Madison resident Becky Joyce couldn’t place an actual figure to the number of times she has watched the Madison-Mayodan Christmas Parade, but she knew it would be a big one.
“I moved here from Sandy Ridge about 57 years ago and have missed a few years for one reason or another, but I looked forward to coming out for the parade every time I could,” Joyce said. “It just feels more like Christmas when I do.”
Joyce enjoyed Saturday’s edition of the annual Madison-Mayodan Jaycees Christmas Parade from her chair in front of Pizza Hut along Highway Street. Joyce was joined by her son, Kevin, and his family, as well as some friends of theirs from Guilford County.
Karen Wagoner of McCleansville said attending the parade with the Joyce family has been a regular occurrence for her family for many years.
“We started when our youngest son, Eric, was about 8 months old,” she said. “It might not be the biggest parade around, but it’s a great tradition and a lot of fun.”
Saturday’s parade followed the Jaycees’ proven formula of opening with the McMichael High School Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard and cadets, followed by the Phoenix Marching Band. As usual, there were dozens of “homegrown” floats created by local clubs, schools or churches mingled among the few professional floats from local companies.
But a couple of the largest contingents are always the motorcycle and car enthusiasts parading their pride and joys for all to see.
“They might be loud, but they’re always colorful and shine like glass,” Joyce said. “You can tell those owners are proud of them.”
Scout troops, cheerleaders, ball teams and dancers always earn plenty of cheers from friends and family among the hundreds lining the 2.5-mile route from Elliott Duncan Memorial Park in Mayodan to the town clock on Murphy Street in Madison. But as interested as the adults are in spotting a friend or family member in the parade, the children are there for one important reason – to fill their pockets or a shopping bag with candy tossed from people riding in the parade.
“And I don’t mind keeping a few pieces for myself,” Joyce said.