The crossroads were lined with eager spectators ready for the 45th Annual Cashiers Christmas Parade sponsored by the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce on Saturday.
Parade Director Eli Ramirez said there were 52 participating entries in the parade, slightly more than last year, and that the community’s turnout was outstanding.
“I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone involved for their creativity, time and commitment to the parade,” said Ramirez. “It is my pleasure to serve as parade director and share the spirit of the season with area organizations, businesses, families, friends and neighbors.”
This year’s theme was “All Things Bright & Beautiful, All Creatures Great & Small.”
Grand Marshal was The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, which is celebrating its 100th property preserved, 115th anniversary of Plateau conservation and 15th year of Jackson County land conservation.
Judges were stationed at the Crossroads and awarded several winners based on a variety of criteria. Judges included Chamber board president Mary Lanning of Hampton Inn & Suites Cashiers/Sapphire, and board members Debby Hattler of Landmark Realty Group accompanied by her dog Archie, and Kathy Korb of Laurelwood Inn and Whiteside Brewery.
Cashiers Christmas Star Trophy – entry displaying the best overall creativity presented to Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club for its Polar Express caravan with staff representing various story characters and under the direction of new general manager Chris Robinson.
Cashiers Caroling Award – entry with the best musical performance presented to the newly-renovated Cashiers Village Inn, featuring owners Taylor Stewart and Daniel Fletcher, staff and friends, and the live music of Erica Nicole.
Elfin Magic Award – entry best-featuring children presented to Cub Scout Den #222 under the leadership of Mark Letson.
Fruitcake Award – presented to the entry with the most humorous display awarded to Highlands Aerial Park, featuring Zippy the ziplining bear (rider Darren Gillett) and owners Karen and George Powell with their puppy Monte Mayhem.
Holiday Spirit Award – entry with the most enthusiastic participants presented to Sapphire Valley Resort celebrating with a children’s hymn and a Christmas Tree representing all things bright and beautiful and little animals representing creatures both large and small
Rudolph’s Friends Award – entry best-featuring animals presented to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina for their herd of enthusiastically-trotting llamas led by 20 “Littles” program participants, Executive Director Danielle Hernandez of BBBS and llama handler Mark English.
Santa’s Sleigh Award – entry with the best theme in motion as float or other motorized vehicle presented to the Valley Garden Club chaired by Trish Bucher and parade co-chairs Maggie Reimann and Carol Wilson with founding club president and 2018 Citizen of the Year Vanna Cameron and “The Friendly Beasts”.
Tin Soldier Award – best marching or walking entry presented to Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic honoring 2019 Volunteer of the Year Melanie Jones escorted by the Toothfairies.
Vintage Vehicle Award – entry for best car or truck display presented to Roman’s Roofing for its 1931 Ford Model A driven by owner Roman Placko with help from a truckload of kids.
Per tradition, the 46th Annual Cashiers Christmas parade will be held on the second Saturday of December 2020.
Ramirez added the Chamber thanks all the parade participants and spectators. Special thanks to the Cashiers Glenville Volunteer Fire Department, The Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Management and all law enforcement and first responders for their participation and support.
Additional thanks to community sponsors and assistance from Appalachian Golf Cars, Signal Ridge Marina, Highlands Sotheby’s International Realty and Zoller Hardware as well as the Rosman Tiger Marching Band, Rick & Lisa Stargel of High South Ventures for their expertise to broadcast the event live, Terry Beye and Stephanie Edwards as parade emcees, support from Highland Hiker owners and staff as well as this year’s parade judges and other volunteers.
The Cashiers Chamber has sponsored the Annual Christmas Parade since 1982. Other sponsors include Signal Ridge Marina, Sotheby’s International Realty, and Zoller Hardware.
Watch full video of the parade HERE.