The temperature on an uptown clock read a Christmas-like 29 degrees, but that didn’t stop a large crowd lined up for several blocks from taking in the annual Hillsboro Uptown Business Association Lighted Christmas Parade on Saturday evening.
The parade started from the Highland County Fairgrounds and arrived in the center of town around 6:30 p.m.
It was preceded Saturday afternoon by a show with more than 30 vendors in The Times-Gazette Community Room, wagon/carriage rides, a pet parade, pet adoptions, and other various activities in the uptown area. The Hillsboro High School Student Council served hot chocolate before and during the parade. The proceeds will be used for the school’s adopt-a-family Christmas program next year. After the parade Santa stopped in 24 Deli & Pizza to visit with children.
“I thought it went off quite well. I was impressed with some of those floats. A lot of them went all out,” said Joe Mahan, the parade organizer for HUBA who will return as president of the organization at the turn of the year. “That Silver Spurs 4-H Club float was insane. They fired off confetti in the center of town and had an elf suspended from the thing in a swing all through the parade. I told them that if we would have been giving away awards, they would have won it.”
The grand marshal of the parade was Homer, a popular little one-eyed dog on social media who was adopted by Amy Sharp Schneider of the Hillsboro Veterinary Hospital and has served as the face of several local fundraisers.
“The theme of the parade was a Dog Gone Christmas and he’s kind of like a local celebrity, so that’s why we picked him,” Mahan said.
He said there were right around 36 entries in the parade. They included: Hillsboro Police Chief Darrin Goudy and Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera, who led the parade in their cruisers; Hillsboro Cub Scout Troop 37 and Hillsboro Boy Scout Troop 171; Homer The Dog; Home Primitives from Blanchester; The Butler Family from Leesburg; Highco with a 101 Dalmatians theme; Great Clips Salon; Girl Scout Troop 8718; Hillsboro High School Marching Band; Shiloh Recovery Services; Sunrise Sunset Child Care Center; Boy Scout Troop 316 and Cub Scout Troop 316 from Rainsboro; Highland County Peace Officers Association promoting Shop With A Cop; Highland County DARE officer Brandon Young; Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland Hills Service Unit; Highland District Hospital; Roberta Carmean and family; Hillsboro Church of God; Antique Power Club of Clinton County; Rent To Own; Silver Spurs 4-H Club; Dance Steel & Farm Supply; Rock Cliff Acres Show Goats; Highland Masonic Lodge 58 and Order of Eastern Star 441; Shriner Hillbillies Clan No. 8; Highland County Shooting Sports 4-H Club; Rick’s Hometown TV & Appliance Center; David and Carol Waits; South Center Power Company; Southwestern Ohio Farm Toy Collectors Club; Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth; 24 Deli & Pizza; Highland County Junior Fair Court; High Hills Stable; Santa Claus and the HUBA Snowflake Pageant winners; and some Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District vehicles.
“I was impressed. I thought it went really well considering how cold it was,” Mahan said.
He said the parade, annually held on the second Saturday in December, has already been scheduled for Dec. 14 next year. Mahan also said that HUBA would give awards to the top floats next year.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.