HILLSBOROUGH – Brad Moore was rallying his troops early Saturday, getting them psyched up and pumped up to walk in the Hillsborough Holiday Parade. Moore and members of Cub Scout Pack 438 of Hillsborough United Methodist Church were doing a call-and-response marching chant: “It’s a Christmas party with the coolest Cub Scouts” and “I join these Cub Scouts riding reindeer.”
The pack has marched in previous parades, but the chant was an attempt to “jazz up the parade a little more this year,” Moore, the pack Cubmaster, said. During the parade, the Scouts’ goal was to get bystanders on both sides of the route to compete in saying the chant.
Dressed in layers for the early morning cold, Orange High School Marching Band members Sarah Campbell, William Gudd and Tyler McDonald were preparing to line up. “Guys, let’s go,” yelled band director Andy Carter.
And with that command, the OHS band members took their place on Churton Street near East Corbin Street with floats and cars representing schools, churches, civic organizations and businesses. The parade made its way south on Churton Street from Corbin, ending at Margaret Lane in the historic-business district.
This year’s parade was a mix of the traditional and contemporary. Numerous school and community bands were participating. The Hillsborough Community Band played Christmas carols while riding in a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck. Michael Capps, director of the A.L. Stanback Middle School Band, was marching in his 13th parade, and his band was preparing to play “We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas.” Veronica Douglas, a member of the band who was playing drums, said Saturday’s parade was her first time participating as a band member. She has previously marched with Girl Scouts and a dance troupe in the parade. Tenor saxophonist Aidan Salmeron was preparing for his first parade. “We haven’t started yet, but I’m pretty excited,” Salmeron said.
Dogs, clad in antlers and other holiday decorations, were a strong presence. Buffy the greyhound was one of the dogs riding the Piedmont Veterinary Clinic’s float. Employees of Howard, Perry and Walston walked in the parade with Cleo, Tucker and other dogs. Representatives of the Animal Protection Society walked their dogs, stopping occasionally to demonstrate basic obedience commands.
Movement of all varieties also was abundant. The Orange County Jammers, a senior cheerleaders group, showed their stuff, and members of Orange County Gymnastics did handstands, cartwheels and other feats. Members of To the Pointe Dance & Arts Academy warmed up the crowd with choreography to the tunes “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “Gangnam Style.” And an elf from the Pinewoods Montessori school of Hillsborough jumped off the school’s float and did a break dance.
Passengers from just about every car and float tossed candy into the crowd, and a number of children had a second Halloween. Morgan Woods was trying to stuff a handful of retrieved candy in her back pocket. Tyrone Starkey filled the hand warmer part of his sweatshirt with candy.
By the time the parade ended at Margaret Lane, the early morning chill was gone, and the temperature was nearing 60. Many who hung around after the parade on King Street got an added bonus. The Starlite String Band played traditional tunes while Jan Gittelman demonstrated flat-footing, or rhythm dancing. In addition to Gittelman, the band is Michael Bonsigliore on mandolin, Rick Farkas on banjo and Doug Broyles on fiddle.