With two Christmas parades in Marshall County last weekend, area residents could easily say they'd celebrated the "Best Little Christmas Ever," especially since that was the title of the festival on the Courthouse Square.
Even the prediction of snow came true Friday night as presented in a forecast published here by the City of Lewisburg's listing of events including Christmas at the Dixie Theater where two snow machines churned out real snow flakes on that cold night.
While the accumulation was light, and mostly on the cold metal fire plug in front of the Marshall County Community Theatre, the mood of the full-house crowd was crisp on the sidewalk after a warm glow of family feelings during a traditional country Christmas show.
The next day, Christmas parades on Commerce Street and in Chapel Hill drew appreciative audiences.
"It was a super-good parade because it was well-administered by our town's Parks and Recreation Board," Chapel Hill Mayor Carl Cooper said of the parade on Horton Highway, U.S. 31-A, through the Marshall County town. "We didn't holdup anybody very long.
"It would have been a little better if we had a little more daylight," he said of the twilight parade.
At 2 p.m. in Lewisburg, the 45-minute parade started at Westvue Church of Christ and came onto the public square where a number of retail stores extended hours for the second day of "The Best Little Christmas Ever Festival."
Bitter cold weather scattered much of the crowd after the parade.
"They shopped before hand and then went home," said pharmacist Gene Douglas Parsons. "It was too cold."
Also Saturday, " Everybody and their dog had their picture made in H&S's Gazebo ... by Walgreens courtesy of electricity from Parson's Pharmacy," she said.
While there were antique auto shows in Lewisburg and Chapel Hill, horse and buggy carriage rides were available from the Marshall County Community Theatre, up Church Street to the Victorian Medley shop and then over to Commerce, First Avenue and back to the north side of the square.
It was all courtesy of Sheriff's Capt. Norman Dalton who detected evidence of the Christmas spirit in a red suit at the "Children's Square" before "Christmas at the Dixie."
Security for the event was from Lewisburg Police, led by Chief Chuck Forbis who had Officer John Christmas on foot patrol in front of the theater that had two snow machines blowing well-maintained flakes into the cold night air.
"When the snow fell it boosted every one's spirits," said Beverly Brown, proprietor of the Bee Hive. "Everybody was cold anyway, but when the kids saw it, their eyes just sparkled."
"Rudolph and Frosty" were seen walking around the square to add jingle to the day when new and old merchants' doors remained open.
Observations from at least one participating merchant was that the festival was enjoyable and that as a first year program, there's a recollection that the Goat Festival started small.