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Recent Christmas parade breaks records for attendance, participation

Erwin Record Photo by Earl Neikirk • A young attendee gets a boost for a better view.

By Richard Rourk

The 2021 Erwin Christmas Parade featured a record number of floats and attendees. 

“We typically have anywhere between eight to 10 professional floats that are entered,” said Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Delp. “This year we had 12 professional floats rented.”

Delp noted the parade had 82 entries, but a lot of businesses and organizations had multiple vehicles per entry. “There were well over 100 vehicles, as most of the entries had more than one vehicle per entry,” she added.

Attendance rose from the average 10,000 visitors to an estimated 12,000 to 14,000 visitors this year. Delp said early feedback has all been positive. 

Like the Apple Festival, the parade had a different vibe this year. 

“You could really feel the Christmas spirit,” she said. “People really missed the parade last year. We had to cancel last year due to COVID concerns, and this year I feel that people really appreciated the parade.”

People lingered after the event. “People were exploring downtown and really seemed to enjoy the Shop Small Saturday event following the parade,” Delp said.

Erwin Record Photo by Earl Neikirk • American Legion members from Unaka Post 25 took part in the parade.