Former florist Fred Williams has been selected as the grand marshal for Saturday’s Christmas Parade in Selma. -- Sarah Cook

Williams to lead the way for parade

Published 9:35pm Friday, November 30, 2012

As the fire trucks and marching bands parade through Selma today for the annual Christmas parade, long time resident Fred Williams will serve as grand marshal, leading Selma into the month of December.

Williams said he was both surprised and excited when he was asked if he would assume the honored role.

“I was asked by the city authority if I would accept being grand marshal,” Williams said. “I had to give it some thought, but after thinking about it I accepted. I was honored they asked me.”

Williams used to own Fred’s Flower and Gift Shop, located on Broad Street. He said after owning the store for so many years, he began to feel as if Selma was a part of him.

“This is my home,” he said. “My family has been here for over 150 years.”

His favorite thing about the Christmas parade, which he has attended in years past, is seeing the whole town come out to celebrate the holiday season.

After seeing all the floats, vintage automobiles and horses ride through historic downtown, Williams said he just likes to “take it all in.”

“It’s a real nice parade,” he said. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, and I know it’ll be a real festive day.”

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Broad Street and will be followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree outside city hall, which will be lit by Mayor George Evans and his wife.

“We are expecting a record crowd this year and we encourage everyone to come out and see the visions of Selma Christmas,” said Sheryl Smedley, executive director of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.

After all these years, Williams said he always looks forward to the parade.

“I feel like I’m part of Selma,” he said. “This will always be home.”

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  • Nancy Bennett

    It appears the weather, while not exactly wintery, will be great for the parade. How very fitting that Fred will be the grand marshal! Fred has been one of Selma’s greatest cheerleaders for years, not to mention the number of times he’s given of his time and talents to various organizations and city functions. A well-deserved honor for one of Selma’s finest!

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