Minter parade draws hundreds to streets

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 2004

MINTER-This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town at the edge of Dallas County suddenly became alive with activity Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people came to take part in the annual Millennium Parade and Homecoming.

Rows of cars and people stretched for a mile along County Road 4 before the parade began, with many visitors hailing from as far away as Huntsville and Decatur to visit the place where their family used to live.

“People come from all over to watch the parade,” said Margaret Fails, president of the Millennium Parade Committee. “This started small a few years ago. It has really grown.”

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Several visitors noted that Saturday’s event drew the largest crowd since the parade and homecoming was founded five years ago.

“I’m pretty pleased with the turn-out,” said Valerie Reubin, a parade committee member.

“The Lord gave us a great day. I hope that people will see that we need something in this area.”

Fails said the parade was created in order to bring the community closer together and hopefully bring back some businesses to the area.

The Southside High School’s Air Force JROTC led the parade through town, followed by the Craig Volunteer Fire Department and several Christmas-themed floats and cars.

Nearly every public high school in the county was represented in the parade, with the bands from Selma High, Southside High, and Keith High entertaining the crowd.

Between the music from the bands, the cheer of the crowd and the roaring sirens from the Craig, Tyler and Carlowville Volunteer Fire trucks, the parade was anything but subdued.

Even local residents not part of a band or volunteer fire department got in on the excitement by driving their souped-upped vehicles in the parade and tossing candy to the crowd.

Several riders on horseback also galloped their way through the parade.

“(The parade) was really nice,” said Lucille Vender, a Sardis resident. “I didn’t make it last year, I got here too late. So this year I made sure I was here early.”

Bettie Smith, of Selma, said she couldn’t really chose a favorite part of the parade.

“I liked it all. The bands, the cars, the horses-they were all really good,” she said.

Carlowville resident Leigh Casey, who drove her car in the parade, said she had a great time.

“I’ve done it every year,” she said. “I love the whole atmosphere of the parade.”

Once the parade was over, the crowd made their way towards the vendors to enjoy home-cooked barbecue and fried catfish sandwiches.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, the crowd enjoyed a variety of music and socializing.