The Christmas Parade is sponsored each year by the Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce and is always held on the first Friday evening in December. WSST-TV out of Cordele films the parade, as well as others in the Middle Georgia area, and plays them back during the holidays for public viewing.
All participants in this year's parade were asked to include "a bit of patriotism" on or in their parade entries, commemorating the Celebration of Bleckley County's 100th Anniversary.
The parade featured 65 Entries, lead by Boy Scout Troup #53 Honor Guard. Following behind were: The Bleckley County High School Marching Band and Dazzlers; antique tractors; 12 floats; several units from local Shriners' Clubs; restored muscle cars; beauty queens; dance and karate groups; cub scouts, boy scouts, and girl scouts; cheerleaders; baseball, softball, fast pitch ball, and football teams; 4-H Clubs; Walgreens; United Givers; Woody Butts Chevrolet; Cochran Hardware; Tom's Bulldozer Service; Rowe Farms Equipment; Let's Get Wet Pressure Washing; emergency vehicles; Sons of the Confederacy; Tony's Body Shop; the Pilot Clubs' Minnie & Mickey Mouse and Elmo; and Johnny Smith's real live pets "Mini" the Pony and "Wild Bill" the Baby Llama; plus much more.
Of course, SANTA CLAUS was last in the parade line up and was ushered into town by four bright, shiny, RED fire engines! SANTA rode in on top of the last engine. This is an exciting site!
Dignitaries and special guests included: Grand Marshal, Rep. Jimmy Pruett; State Senator, Ross Tolleson; Rep. James "Bubber" Epps; Brig. General John Mooney, RAFB; Bleckley County Commissioner Bob Brockman; Cochran Mayor Willie Basby and City Manager, Ray Gibson; and Dr. Charlotte Pipkin, School Superintendent.
Thanks to Police Chief Key McGuire and his officers, Sheriff Harold Lancaster and his deputies, and Joe Allen and other members of Cochran Masonic Lodge # 217 for their help with the parade. We, also, want to thank all participants entering the parade. They made it possible for us to have a great parade. A LARGE crowd of Cochran and Bleckley County Citizens came out to watch the parade.
Twelve floats were judged and first, second, and third place ribbons were presented to the top three winners. Float entries were: Bethany Baptist Church, Bleckley Primary School PTO, LaCabana Mexican Restaurant, Boy Scout Troup # 53, The Marble Club, Orchard Rise Enrichment Center, New Life Church of God, A Princess With a Purpose, Bleckley Memorial Hospital, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, High Flyers Gymnastics Studio, and Sandy Sandavol's Girl Scout Troup.
FIRST PLACE: Boy Scout Troup # 53
SECOND PLACE: LaCabana Mexican Restaurant
THIRD PLACE: A Princess with a Purpose