Parade participation up in Mathews

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Dec 12, 2012 - 02:32 PM

Photo: Thomas Hunter Middle School Bible Club members displayed signs of hope as they walked along the parade route Saturday. Shown from left are Matthew Ashbaugh, Alex Mills, Demetria Jones, Nyasia Spriggs, Tylon Forrest, Dylan Heimerich, Jennifer Clark, Sylvia Clark, Sarah Renner, Kristen Frank and Caroline Evans. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Thomas Hunter Middle School Bible Club members displayed signs of hope as they walked along the parade route Saturday. Shown from left are Matthew Ashbaugh, Alex Mills, Demetria Jones, Nyasia Spriggs, Tylon Forrest, Dylan Heimerich, Jennifer Clark, Sylvia Clark, Sarah Renner, Kristen Frank and Caroline Evans. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Saturday’s Christmas parade in Mathews, "Mathews County: A Way of Life," saw a huge increase in attendance from previous years, according to Mathews County Visitor and Information Center director Ann Miller.

"We had 52 units this year," Miller said. "Last year, we had 30-some." She said she really thought this year’s parade brought in a whole lot of new people.

"There was so much variety," she added. "It was just amazing, and a lot of young people got involved this year."

Photo: Per tradition, Santa and Mrs. Claus brought up the rear of the Mathews Christmas Parade Saturday, before making their way back to the North Pole to make final preparations for his Christmas Eve journey. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Per tradition, Santa and Mrs. Claus brought up the rear of the Mathews Christmas Parade Saturday, before making their way back to the North Pole to make final preparations for his Christmas Eve journey. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

She said the Mathews Lions Club did the best job at capturing the overall theme of the parade with its banner that read, "Volunteering: A Way of Life." "They really captured our whole theme, as we are trying to stress the value of volunteerism as a way of life in the community," Miller said.