Newberry_Parde_2011  Crowds lined the streets of Newberry Saturday for the city’s colorful holiday parade.  Bands and color guards, horse-led carriages and even a boat participated in the town’s annual celebration.

 NEWBERRY – Christmas came to Newberry early this year as the community turned out to celebrate its annual holiday parade Saturday.  The seasonal festivities not only included businesses and not-for-profit organizations, but dogs and horses were welcomed as well.

Flashing multicolored lights and piercing sirens alerted parade goers lining the street that the parade was starting.  Police officers on motorcycles roared down the street, clearing the way. Newberry Mayor Bill Conrad tossed candy to the crowd, waving and smiling at excited youngsters dashing for the sweets.

The Newberry Girl Scouts, Junior Olympic Archery Development and Newberry Lions Club were among the groups that joined in the festivities. The First Baptist Church of Newberry’s float depicted the nativity scene complete with a young woman dressed in biblical garb with a baby cradled in her arms.

For the city’s fifth annual Festival of Lights, residents enjoyed carriage rides and for the little ones, a visit from Santa Claus. The line to see Santa quickly grew as children with parents in tow waited to see the jolly old elf and have a picture taken with him.

Local vendors set up their tents alongside sidewalks, selling their goods to the crowd.  Tere Beaudreau, owner of Dancin’ Dogs, a pet sitting and daycare located in Jonesville, had a small tent hear the parade route, and sold dog treats and gifts baskets. She said the festival was a good way to gain exposure for her business and take advantage of the number of people attending the festivities.

“We didn’t sell a lot, but we had fun,” she said.